Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Maine
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Maine Project

Literature review and meta-analysis of rights-of-way management for native insect pollinators with focus on application in Maine and the northeastern U.S.

September 2019 - April 2021


Participating Agencies

  • Maine DOT

Recent declines in managed, non-native bees have heightened general awareness of the importance of the pollination services of native bees, butterflies, and other insects. Prescriptions of land management for pollinators is complicated by the diversity of Agency management objectives, the biology of focal pollinator species and communities, the composition and structure of specific habitats available for management, and the varied effects of landscape context on outcomes of habitat manipulation. Location of land managed for pollinator conservation can affect pollinator community composition, and both habitat composition and pattern surrounding the focal area can affect pollinator use of the managed landscape. Road and powerline rights-of-way (ROW) are managed lands that comprise a relatively small portion of the northeastern landscape overall, however, they potentially have a disproportionate effect on pollinator communities as they may simultaneously fragment, connect, create, enhance, or compromise pollinator habitat. Whether ROWs serve as pollinator population sources or sinks likely is confounded by landscape context. Although knowledge of the role of roadside and powerline ROWs in pollinator conservation is rapidly growing, most research has been more focused on understanding effects of habitat type and less focused on landscape context and pattern effects on pollinator abundance and diversity. Additionally, the increasingly abundant literature examining relationships between pollinator occurrence, abundance, and diversity in managed and non-managed landscapes provides diverse information to help guide habitat management for pollinators. This project is a collaboration of the Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the University of Maine, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Maine Department of Transportation. Our systematic review, conducted as a meta-analysis, of patterns and variability reported in the published science on pollinators and land management, with a focus on roadsides and ROWs, will inform pollinator conservation in the northeastern U.S. broadly, and provide a comprehensive baseline for guiding currentROW management recommendations and hypotheses for future research.

Presentations Presentation Date
Du Clos, B., C.S. Loftin, F. Drummond, and P. deMaynadier. 2018. Rights-of-way management for native insect pollinators in the northeastern USA: literature meta-analysis and preliminary summary of Maine’s bumblebee and butterfly roadside surveys. Presentation at the Northeastern Transportation and Wildlife Conference. 9-12 September, Amherst, MA. September 2018