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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Manage land under power lines for wildlife Bee Conservation

Key messages

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One replicated trial in Maryland, USA found more bee species under power lines managed as scrub than in equivalent areas of annually mown grassland.

 

Supporting evidence from individual studies

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Power line rights-of-way are unfarmed and provide potentially valuable linear strips of habitat for bees and other wildlife. In the USA, they are periodically cleared of vegetation by mowing and/or herbicide treatment. A more cost-effective management method involves removing trees and other tall vegetation, mechanically and with selective herbicides, but retaining a dense scrub. One replicated trial under eight power line strips on a Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, USA (Russell et al. 2005) found significantly more bee species under power lines managed this way (32.5 bee species/site on average) than in equivalent areas of annually mown grassland on the Refuge, representing conventional power line management (23.2 species/site). There was no significant difference between power line scrub and mown grassland in the abundance of bees.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Dicks, L.V., Showler, D.A. & Sutherland, W.J. (2010) Bee conservation: evidence for the effects of interventions. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter, UK