This summer, Lisa Kuder (PhD Student, vanEngelsdorp lab) wrapped up her research project with The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) titled, “Evaluating Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) Techniques to Improve Pollinator Habitat.” This three-year field study had two main goals: to determine which vegetation management tactics best maximize quality floral resources for pollinators in the Northeast, and to assess how those different regimes affect regional bee populations. The findings show that managing roadsides via selective herbicide use (SH) and annual fall mow (fall mow) can significantly increase floral diversity and bee abundance compared to a traditional frequent mowing (turf) regime. While differences between treatments – SH and fall mow – were detected, they were not significant. Bee diversity, which accounts for both abundance and the evenness of species in a given area, was mainly determined by site/surrounding landscape not treatment and was the sole significant factor. Given that floral abundance and diversity, as well as bee abundance, were increased under SH and fall mow compared to turf plots, both Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) practices have shown great potential in supporting pollinators.
The final report can be read here>>