Meeting Program – CRP is the Bees’ Knees: Native Bee Communities By Alex Morphew
February 16, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFree
Native bees are important pollinators currently experiencing population declines expected to be most severe in agricultural landscapes such as those found in Kansas and across the Great Plains. These declines are largely linked to habitat fragmentation due to agricultural intensification and pose a serious threat to pollination stability in grassland ecosystems. Restoration efforts aiming to mitigate these losses include the federally supported Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which aims to create wildlife and pollinator habitat on marginally productive agricultural land. From 2017-2019, we assessed native bee communities on CRP lands across the state of Kansas in order to determine a) the relative benefit of pollinator (high-diversity) vs. low-diversity plantings and b) the effect of cattle grazing on CRP bees.
Alex Morphew is a native bee community ecologist, with a focus on grassland ecosystems in the Great Plains. She received her B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado and graduated from Wichita State University with an M.S. in Biology in 2019. Alex has studied native bee communities of Colorado shortgrass prairies, Kansas grasslands, and Missouri sand prairies. She is currently researching pollinators of the northern Great Plains through the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Sidney, Montana. Her primary interests beyond native bees include plants, sustainable land management, and the conservation of natural ecosystems.