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Mapping Bee Data in the Mid-Atlantic Region of North America

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  • Sam Droege
    All: I recently discovered that using the online Global Discoverlife Mapping system you can map bee species distributions as well as show the all the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2009


      I recently discovered that using the online Global Discoverlife Mapping system you can map bee species distributions as well as show the all the collection points in the system.  

      You can limit the mapping the data mapped to one or more databases as in this example below, I have limited it to ours:
      You can then set the center of the map, the scale, what color the points are and other features.
      Then when you are ready to map you can display all the points by putting the database name in the mapping box in the first line
      In this case
      In subsequent lines you can add whatever species you want to map...

      You can do this with large collaborative databases like ours, Kansas, American Museum or with your own.

      To do your own all you need to do is submit a text file to Discoverlife.  You retain control of the data and nobody can download your database, Discoverlife only maps from your data.  You update your data as frequently as you like.  So you can submit data for an individual park such as Shenandoah National Park or an entire country...like Pakistan, Turkey, Algeria, or Ghana (you guys know who you are).   The key is data with good locality information and careful determinations of the species.

      Here are some illustrations from our bee database showing individual species.

      Yellow points in each picture are our collection points for the Mid-Atlantic Area (many thanks to the wonderful people in Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware who have added their collections to the system.

      Blue Points are points with Megachile brevis - a relatively common bee but one that likes both dry (sand and rock) disturbed sites (e.g., Washington D.C.) a bit more than others...

      Next is a picture showing the records for Lasioglossum marinum....a species found only on sand dunes

      Now a species, Agapostemon splendens, that likes sandy areas but isn't restricted to dunes...note the sand barrens along the Patuxent, the central Eastern Shore Sand ridge and the dune systems and the probably bad record in WV....but maybe not?

      Now how about a marsh specialist?  Here is Lasioglossum creberrimum lounging around in the marshes o f the Chesapeake Bay and backsides of the Assateague Island....its interesting to see that there are no records for Delaware.

      We are moving ever so closely to a better understanding of bee status and modern distributions....but what of all those blank spots on the maps?


      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705

      Nature makes the locust with an appetite for crops; man
      would have made him with an appetite for sand- I mean
      a man with the least little bit of common sense.
       - Mark Twain

      P Bees are not optional.
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