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The Albany Pine Bush Preserve, APBP, maintains a globally unique inland pine barrens ecosystem that houses many rare and endangered species. However, non-native black locust trees have invaded many pine barren sites, leading to a loss of biodiversity. The APBP commission staff have restored several of the invaded sites by removing black locust trees, replanting native vegetation, and introducing prescribed fire treatments. The restored areas have yet to match the original pine barrens habitat in plant species composition, but have a similar grassy, open habitat. The effects of restoration on local bee populations is unclear. The bee communities are extremely important to monitor as they are declining worldwide at an alarming rate. Bee decline is due to a variety of reasons including: habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. To analyze the bee communities in restored and native sites, four survey plots of each were established. We utilized pan trapping and sweep netting methods six times between mid-June and late September resulting in 958 individuals, which are being identified and prepared for quantitative community analysis. Bee communities in the two habitat types will be analyzed by comparing species abundances and diversity indices. In addition, community composition will be evaluated using non-metric multidimensional scaling to summarize species distributions among sites. We have already analyzed the differences in the number of bees collected at each site and there was not a significant difference between the number of bees collected at restored sites versus native sites (p=0.62). However, finding distinct bee community compositions between different site types has been a common result in other studies. We hypothesize that we will find similar differences in community composition between native and restored sites due to greater number and abundance of specialist bees in the native habitats.

Bee Communities in Native and Restored Pine Barrens Habitats in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve