Lowbush Blueberry Pollination: Linking Bee Abundance and Landscape Pattern
Bleuets NB Blueberries
Canada/New Brunswick Growing Forward (Non-Business Risk Management Programs)
Enabling Agricultural Research and Innovation
To produce a new lowbush blueberry land development model that increases the long term competitiveness of the industry by incorporating landscape conservation elements specifically targeted to maximize wild bee abundance and, by extension, their pollination contribution. Produce complete land cover maps, incorporate environmental variables and extract landscape metrics for study areas on the Acadian Penninsula. Determine the variability in wild bee abundance and diversity among lowbush blueberry fields spanning a landscape gradient from structurally simple to complex. Create habitat suitability maps (species, taxa, guilds) for bees associated with lowbush blueberry pollination. Examine the effect of landscape pattern (composition and configuration) on wild bee abundance/diversity and create a model that best explains this relationship. Based on model(s), determine how much habitat (composition and configuration) is required to achieve regional wild bee maximums. Use these values to set landscape targets. Based on landscape targets, create pollinator habitat guidelines and develop rapid site assessment techniques to direct new development or restoration of existing blueberry land. Explore site restoration/design opportunities by establishing foraging resources (examples Salix, native wild flower communities, mass flowering planted crops, etc) and creating of landscape features (example herbaceous corridors) required by native bees.
Technical Publications (Guideline Series): Rapid Assessment Technique for Determining Site-Specific Resource Levels. This methodology will identify site deficiencies (example: phenological gaps in floral resources) and form the basis of directed site-specific restoration activities to enhance native bee abundance. Promoting Native Bee Pollination Services – Landscape Design for New Blueberry Land Development. Enhancing Native Bee Pollination Services – Restoration Guidelines for Existing Blueberry Agro-Ecosystems. Establishing Foraging Resources for Bees in Blueberry Agro-Ecosystems – What, Where and How. Scientific Publication: Nesting and Foraging Habitat Suitability for Bumble Bees in Lowbush Blueberry Agro-Ecosystems. The Impact of Landscape Pattern on Native Bee Abundance and Pollination Services in Lowbush Blueberry Agro-Ecosystems.