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Monday, January 29 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
SYMPOSIA-02: Pollinators in Our Parks – How Is Invasive Plant Management Impacting Native Bees in National Parks?

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AUTHORS. Kiley Friedrich, Dr. Dan Cariveau - University of Minnesota Bee Lab

ABSTRACT. Invasive, exotic plants are a leading cause of ecological change in natural areas.Throughout Minnesota, land managers have struggled with the spread of Common or European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and Glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus). Introduced as an ornamental landscaping plant, buckthorn dominates in areas that were once diverse plant communities. However, removal of invasive plants could have conflicting effects. Exotic plants can provide important food and nesting resources for native species. For instance, native pollinators commonly visit and consume pollen and nectar of exotic flowering plants. However, exotic and invasive species, such as buckthorn, can negatively impact native plant communities. In forest systems, native flowering plants provide a critical early-season resource. The goal of this study is to determine plant use by native pollinators in areas invaded by buckthorn and currently undergoing invasive plant management. With a focus on National Park Service (NPS) lands, we collaborated with the Exotic Plant Management Team and their plans for removal, control, and invasive plant management. As part of the Great Lakes-Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU), NPS staff identified areas of concern for invasive species management and native bee sampling. In the summer of 2017, we characterized the bee and flowering plant communities in forested areas of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway and Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Bee specimens were collected while visiting buckthorn and other ephemeral forest flowers.  Five sites along the rivers were identified and sampled from April to July.  Plant and bee community data is being processed and analyzed. Through detailed documentation of the plant and bee communities present in these areas, our results will inform practitioners on the impact of buckthorn removal and methods on NPS lands.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm CST