Roadside habitat: Boon or bane for pollinating insects?

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Oxford University Press


Pollinators, which provide vital services to wild ecosystems and agricultural crops, are facing global declines and habitat loss. As undeveloped land becomes increasingly scarce, much focus has been directed recently to roadsides as potential target zones for providing floral resources to pollinators. Roadsides, however, are risky places for pollinators, with threats from vehicle collisions, toxic pollutants, mowing, herbicides, and more. Although these threats have been investigated, most studies have yet to quantify the costs and benefits of roadsides to pollinators and, therefore, do not address whether the costs outweigh the benefits for pollinator populations using roadside habitats. In this article, we address how, when, and under what conditions roadside habitats may benefit or harm pollinators, reviewing existing knowledge and recommending practical questions that managers and policymakers should consider when planning pollinator-focused roadside management.


Copyright Oxford University Press 2024


pollinators, roadside ecology, road verge management, butterflies, bees


Thomas C Meinzen, Laura A Burkle, Diane M Debinski, Roadside habitat: Boon or bane for pollinating insects?, BioScience, Volume 74, Issue 1, January 2024, Pages 54–64,
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