The Atlanta Beeline: Invertebrate Pollinator Corridor Suitability Analysis of the Metropolitan Atlanta Region

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Grimes, Jennifer A.
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As evidenced by numerous studies, invertebrate pollinator species are in decline worldwide. The implications of this trend are numerous and potentially catastrophic. Pollination services derived from these creatures provide benefits such as food, plant-derived medicines, ecosystem resilience, and economic development where agriculture is a large part of the economy. Pollinator-dependent plants, by definition, require pollination services to survive and much of our agriculture relies on their continuous support for successful food production. As managed honey bee colonies continue to decline, it is necessary to start valuing and supporting the arguably more important contributions that wild pollinator services offer. Consequently, this valuation relies on understanding the causes of pollinator declines, the costs associated with pollinator decline, and the mitigation methods that could successfully reverse the process. There are over 4,400 species of native bees identified in North America, but this study focuses on the habitat preferences of the genus Bombus, or bumble bees, as they represent some of the most important and effective bees in the eastern United States. Of these 21 eastern bumble bee species, six are experiencing drastic population declines (13). Planning for pollinator population support has become critically important. Some studies have estimated the pollinator value for crop production in Georgia to be $608 million, which is significantly greater than the reported $14 million value of honey bee rentals.
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Masters Project
Applied Research Paper
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