Pollination webs to guide management of rare and invasive species in a changing climate
Badlands National Park is home to nine plant species considered rare in South Dakota, as well as several invasive exotic plants, many of which vie for pollinator services with the rare species. The purpose of this study was to document the interaction webs that link rare and invasive plants with pollinators and, consequently, with each other. Understanding these linkages will guide management of both the rare and invasive species. The list of insect species associated with the webs and ancillary trapping will provide a baseline assessment of the pollinator fauna at Badlands National Park which can be expanded upon and reassessed over time and in response to climatic changes.
To date, 236 bee species have been catalogued for Badlands National Park, with several undetermined morphotypes awaiting identification. Network analyses have demonstrated considerable structural importance of the invasive species in pollination webs, suggesting that their management should include not just removal of the invasive plant, but restoration of the resource it was providing to pollinating insects.
Diane L Larson