Roads pose significant threat to bee movement and flower pollination

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

Roads can be barriers to wildlife of all sorts, and scientists have studied road impacts on animals ranging from Florida panthers and grizzly bears to box turtles, mice, rattlesnakes and salamanders.

But much less is known about the impact of roads on pollinating insects such as bees and to what extent these structures disrupt insect pollination, which is essential to reproduction in many plant species.

In a paper published online May 10 in the Journal of Applied Ecology, University of Michigan researchers describe how they used fluorescent pigment as an analog for pollen. They applied the luminous pigment to the flowers of roadside plants to study how roads affected the movement of pollen between plants at 47 sites in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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