Bee Communities in Restored Landfill Sites of Niagara Region
This study examined the impact of habitat restoration on bee communities (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. Bee abundance and diversity was studied in three restored landfill sites: the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site (GQNS) in St. Catharines, Elm Street Naturalization Site in Port Colborne, and Station Road Naturalization Site in Wainfleet during 2011 and 2012. GQNS represented older sites restored from 2001-2003. Elm and Station sites represented newly restored landfills as of 2011. These sites were compared to control sites at Brock University where bee communities are well established and again to other landfills where no stable habitat was available before restoration. The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of restoration level on bee abundance and diversity in restored landfill sites of the Niagara Region. Based on the increased disturbance hypothesis (InDH) and the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH), I hypothesized that bee abundance and diversity will follow two patterns. First pattern according to InDH suggest that as the disturbance decrease the bee abundance and diversity will increased. Second pattern according to the IDH bee abundance and diversity will be the highest at the intermediate level of disturbance. A total of 7 173 bees were collected using pan traps and flower collections, from May to October 2011 and 2012. Bees were classified to five families, 21 genera and sub-genera, containing at least 78 species. In 2011 bee abundance was not significantly different among restoration levels while in 2012 bee abundance was significant difference among restoration level. According to family there were no significant difference in Halictidae and Apidae abundance among restoration level while Colletidae and Megachilidae abundance were varied among restoration levels. The bee species richness was highest in the newly restored sites followed by restored control sites, and then the control site. The current study demonstrates that habitat restoration results in rapid increases in bee abundance and diversity for newly restored sites, and, further, that it takes only 2-3 years for bee assemblages in newly restored sites to arrive at the same levels of abundance and diversity as in nearby control sites where bee communities are well established.