Data from: The effects of habitat management on the species, phylogenetic and functional diversity of bees are modified by the environmental context
Sydenham, Markus A. K. et al. (2016), Data from: The effects of habitat management on the species, phylogenetic and functional diversity of bees are modified by the environmental context, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qj4h3
Anthropogenic landscape elements, such as roadsides, hedgerows, field edges, and power line clearings, can be managed to provide important habitats for wild bees. However, the effects of habitat improvement schemes in power line clearings on components of diversity are poorly studied. We conducted a large-scale experiment to test the effects of different management practices on the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of wild bees in power line clearings (n = 19 sites across southeastern Norway) and explored whether any treatment effects were modified by the environmental context. At each site, we conducted the following treatments: (1) Cut: all trees cut and left to decay in the clearing; (2) Cut + Remove: all trees cut and removed from the plot; and (3) Uncut: uncleared. The site-specific environmental context (i.e., elevation and floral diversity) influenced the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity within bee species assemblages. The largest number of species was found in the Cut + Remove treatment in plots with a high forb species richness, indicating that the outcome of management practices depends on the environmental context. Clearing of treatment plots with many forb species also appeared to alter the phylogenetic composition of bee species assemblages, that is, more closely related species were found in the Cut and the Cut + Remove plots than in the Uncut plots. Synthesis and applications: Our experimental simulation of management practices in power line clearings influenced the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of bee species assemblages. Frequent clearing and removal of the woody debris at low elevations with a high forb species richness can increase the value of power line clearings for solitary bees. It is therefore important for managers to consider the environmental context when designing habitat improvement schemes for solitary bees.