The value of pollinators and pollinator habitat to Rangelands: Connections among pollinators, insects, plant communities, fish, and wildlife

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Abstract

Wendell Gilgert and Mace Vaughan examine the value of pollinators and pollinator habitat to rangelands, focusing on connections among pollinators, insects, plant communities, fish, and wildlife. Native pollinating bees are a vital component of the biologically diverse plant and animal community which is critical to healthy, ecologically functional range landscapes. Managing rangelands to enhance life requisites for native pollinators likely will require adjusting current practices. Many bumble bee species also nest under or on the ground, but instead of digging narrow underground tunnels, they utilize existing cavities, such as those left behind by burrowing mammals. A diversity and abundance of plants that produce nectar and pollen used by insects, combined with a variety of standing or downed dead wood, bare ground, and overgrown vegetation, are the hallmarks of rich heterogeneous pollinator habitat. Similarly, diverse rangeland plant communities support diverse assemblages of grasshoppers, crickets, and other orthopterans, with the interesting side effect of mitigating or preventing outbreaks.

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Gilgert, W., & Vaughan, M. (2011). The value of pollinators and pollinator habitat to Rangelands: Connections among pollinators, insects, plant communities, fish, and wildlife. Rangelands, 33(3), 14–19. https://doi.org/10.2111/1551-501X-33.3.14

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