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dc.contributor.authorMeinzen, Thomas C.
dc.contributor.authorDebinski, Diane M.
dc.contributor.authorBurkle, Laura A.
dc.contributor.authorAment, Robert J.
dc.description.abstractPollinating insects provide vital ecosystem services and are facing global declines and habitat loss . Roadsides are increasingly regarded as important potential areas f or enhancing pollinator habitat. Understanding which roadsides best support pollinators — and why — is essential to helping locate and prioritize pollinator conservation efforts across roadside networks. To support this effort, we assessed butterfly, bee, and flowering plant species richness and abundance on a set of 63 stratified randomized roadside transects in State-managed rights-of-way in SE Idaho. Our research evaluated pollinator diversity as a function of highway class (interstate, U.S., and state highways), remotely sensed NDVI values (a measure of vegetation greenness), and floral resources. We found that smaller highways and lower (less green) maximum NDVI values were associated with significantly more bee species and total bees. Roadsides bordering sagebrush habitats typically had low NDVI values and higher bee and butterfly species richness, potentially contributing to this observed pattern. Butterfly richness increased in association with higher floral abundance in roadsides. Additionally, we identified and mapped 1,363 roadside patches of milkweed (Asclepias speciosa), larval host plant for the imperiled monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), in a survey of over 900 miles of southern Idaho highways. Based on these results and a literature review, we recommend management strategies to promote the health of pollinator populations in Idaho’s rights-of-way and provide data to help ITD prioritize areas for pollinator-friendly management practices and habitat restoration within their highway system.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipIdaho Transportation Department (SPR)en_US
dc.publisherITD Reseach Programen_US
dc.titleBees and Butterflies in Roadside Habitats: Identifying Patterns, Protecting Monarchs, and Informing Managementen_US
dc.typeTechnical Reporten_US
mus.relation.collegeCollege of Letters & Science.en_US
mus.relation.universityMontana State University - Bozemanen_US
mus.relation.researchgroupWestern Transportation Institute (WTI).en_US

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