Steve Buckley and Gary Paul Nabhan
National Park Service Southwest Exotic Plant Management Team 12661 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85748
University of Arizona Center for Regional Food Studies Tucson, AZ 85748
Corresponding author: steve_buckley@ nps.gov; 530-595-6187
Steve Buckley is the botanist for the Southwest Exotic Plant Management Team of the National Park Service. He works with parks throughout the southwestern United States to support restoration operations, seed collection, and plant materials development to support plant—pollinator interactions and invasive species management. Working with the BLM and other land management agencies, he oversees the Madrean Archipelago Plant Propagation (MAPP) Center in Patagonia, Arizona, and is finishing a doctorate at the University of Arizona on regional restoration strategies for pollinators.
Gary Paul Nabhan is the Director of the Center for Regional Food Studies and the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona. Nabhan is also co-founder of the Forgotten Pollinators Campaign and Make Way for Monarchs. Author or editor of two books, several monographs, and journal articles on pollinator—plant interactions, he manages several pollinator gardens and hedgerows around his orchard in Patagonia, Arizona.
The steep declines over the last quarter century of wild pollinators in the Southwest among native bees, monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L.), hummingbirds, and nectar-feeding bats have come during a time of accelerated climate change, and are likely due to a variety of stresses interacting with climatic shifts. Nevertheless, there is mounting evidence that declining availability and altered timing of floral resources along “nectar corridors” accessible to pollinators involves climatic shifts as a serious stressor that had been previously underestimated. Longitudinal studies from both urban heat islands and rural habitats in Southwestern North America suggest peak flowering of many wildflowers serving as floral resources for pollinators is occurring three to five weeks earlier in spring than a century ago, leaving “phenological gaps” in nectar resource availability for certain pollinators. To avoid the threat of what A. Dobson (Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University) and others have termed “food web collapse,” a range of groups have initiated ecological restoration efforts in semi-arid zones that attempt to (a) assemble more resilient plant—pollinator food chains, and (b) hydrologically restore watercourses to ensure water scarcity will be less likely to disrupt re-assembled food chains in the face of droughts, catastrophic floods, and other correlates of global climate change. We recommend “bottom-up food chain restoration” strategies for restoring nectar corridors in protected areas on or near geopolitical and land management boundaries in all regions, but particularly in the Southwest or US-Mexico desert border states. We highlight binational and multicultural workshops facilitated to communicate about, and initiate restoration of, mutualistic relationships among plants, pollinators, and people to protected area managers on both sides of the border.
Abrol, D.P. 2012. Pollination Biology: Biodiversity Conservation and Agricultural Production. Springer, The Netherlands.
Allen-Wardell, G., P. Bernhardt, R. Bitner, A. Burquez, S. Buchmann, J. Cane, P.A. Cox, V. Dalton, P. Feinsinger, M. Ingram, K. Kennedy, P. Kevan, H. Koopowitz, R. Medellin, S. Medellin-Morales, G.P. Nabhan, B. Pavlik, V. Tepedino, P. Torchio, and S. Walker. 1998. The potential consequences of pollinator declines on the conservation of biodiversity and stability of food crop yields. Conservation Biology 12:8–17. CrossRef
Bowers, J.E. 2007. Has climatic warming altered spring flowering dates of Sonoran Desert shrubs? Southwestern Naturalist 52:347–355. BioOne
Buchmann, S.L., and G.P. Nabhan. 1996. The Forgotten Pollinators. Island Press, Washington, DC.
Burghardt, K.T., and D.W. Tallamy. 2015. Not all non-natives are equally unequal: Reductions in herbivore-diversity depend on phylogenetic similarity to native plant community. Ecology Letters 18:1087–1098. CrossRef, PubMed
Clewell, A.F, and J. Aronson. 2007. Ecological Restoration: Principles, Values, and Structure of an Emerging Profession. Island Press, Washington, DC.
Crimmins, T.M., M.A. Crimmins, and C.D. Bertelsen. 2010. Complex responses to climate drivers in onset of spring flowering across a semi-arid elevation gradient. Journal of Ecology 98:1042–1051. CrossRef
Davis, C.C., C.G. Willis, B. Connolly, C. Kelly, and A.M. Ellison. 2015. Herbarium records are reliable sources of phenological change driven by climate and provide novel insights into species’ phenological cueing mechanisms. American Journal of Botany 102:1599–1609. CrossRef, PubMed
Dicks, L.V., M. Baude, S.P. Roberts, J. Phillips, M. Green, M. , and C. Carvell. 2015. How much flower‐rich habitat is enough for wild pollinators? Answering a key policy question with incomplete knowledge. Ecological Entomology 40(S1):22–35. CrossRef, PubMed
Dobson, A., S. Allesina, K. Lafferty, and M. Pascual. 2009. The assembly, collapse and restoration of food webs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Biological Sciences 364(1524):1803–1806. CrossRef, PubMed
[DOI] US Department of the Interior. 2015. National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration.
Ellwood, E.R., S.A. Temple, R.B. Primack, N.L. Bradley, and C.C. Davis. 2013. Record- breaking early flowering in the eastern United States. PLoS ONE 8:53–88. CrossRef
Fabina, N.S., K.C. Abbott, and R.T. Gilman. 2010. Sensitivity of plant—pollinator—herbivore communities to changes in phenology. Ecological Modeling 221:453–458. CrossRef
Forrest, J.R., and J.D. Thomson. 2011. An examination of synchrony between insect emergence and flowering in Rocky Mountain meadows. Ecological Monographs 81:469–491. CrossRef
Forup, M.L., and J. Memmott. 2005. The restoration of plant—pollinator interactions in hay meadows. Restoration Ecology 13:265–274. CrossRef
Inouye, D. 2009. The effects of climate change on the phenological interactions of plants and pollinators. Available from Nature Proceedings, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npre.2009.3583.1.
Inouye, D. 2011. Where have all the flowers gone? High-mountain wildflower season reduced, affecting pollinators like bees, hummingbirds. Science Daily, June 17.
Kearns, C.A., D.W. Inouye, and N.M. Waser. 1998. Endangered mutualisms: The conservation of plant-pollinator interactions. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29:83–112. CrossRef
Lopez-Hoffman, L., R.G. Varady, K.W. Flessa, and P. Balvanera. 2009. Ecosystem services across borders: A framework for transboundary conservation policy. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8:84–91. CrossRef
Mader, E., M. Shepard, M. Vaughn, S.H. Black, and G. LeBuhn. 2011. Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. Storey Publishing/The Xerces Society Guide, North Adams, MA.
Menz, M.H., R.D. Phillips, R. Winfree, C. Kremen, M.A. Aizen, S.D. Johnson, and K.W. Dixon. 2011. Reconnecting plants and pollinators: Challenges in the restoration of pollination mutualisms. Trends in Plant Science 16:4–12. CrossRef, PubMed
Miller-Rushing, A.J., and D.W. Inouye. 2009. Variation in the impact of climate change on flowering phenology and abundance: An examination of two pairs of closely related wildflower species. American Journal of Botany 96:1821–1829. CrossRef, PubMed
Minckley, R., and J. Ascher. 2013. Preliminary survey of bee (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) richness in the northwestern Chihuahuan Desert. Pp. 138–143 in G.J. Gottfried, P.F. Folliott,
B.S. Gebow, S. Brooke, L.G. Eskew, and L.C. Collins, eds., Merging Science and Management in a Rapidly Changing World: Biodiversity and Management of the Madrean Archipelago III; 2012 May 1–5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-67. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO.
Nabhan, G.P. 2004. Conserving Migratory Pollinators and Nectar Corridors in Western North America. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Nabhan, G.P. 2013. Food chain restoration: Reconnecting pollinators with their plants. Wings: Essays on Invertebrate Conservation 36:11–15.
Nabhan, G.P., and T. Fleming. 2002. The conservation of New World mutualisms. Conservation Biology 7:457–462. CrossRef
Nabhan, G.P, I. Warren, and O. Taylor. 2015. Monarch Recovery from a Milkweed’s Point of View. Make Way for Monarchs. <https://makewayformonarchs.org/archives/2388>.
[NPS] National Park Service. 2006. Management Policies. US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, DC.
Norman, L.M., M.L. Villarreal, H.R. Pulliam, R. Minckley, L. Gass, L , C. Tolle, and M. Coe. 2014. Remote sensing analysis of riparian vegetation response to desert marsh restoration in the Mexican Highlands. Ecological Engineering 70C:241–254. CrossRef
Obama, B. 2014. Presidential Memorandum— Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC.
Ober, H.K., and R.J. Steidl. 2004. Foraging rates of Leptonycteris curasoae vary with characteristics of Agave palmeri. The Southwestern Naturalist 49:68–74. BioOne
Pleasants, J.M., and K. Oberhauser. 2012. Milkweed loss in agricultural fields because of herbicide use: Effect on the monarch butterfly population. Insect Conservation and Diversity 6:135–144. CrossRef
Potts, S.G., J.C. Biesmeijer, C. Kremen, P. Neumann, O. Schweiger, and W.E. Kunin. 2010. Global pollinator declines: Trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25:345–353. CrossRef, PubMed
Primack, D., C. Imbres, R.B. Primack, A.J. Miller-Rushing, and P. Del Tredici. 2004. Herbarium specimens demonstrate earlier flowering times in response to warming in Boston. American Journal of Botany 91:1260–1264. CrossRef, PubMed
Tepedino, V.J., J. Mull, T.L. Griswold, and G. Bryant. 2014. Reproduction and pollination of the endangered dwarf bear-poppy Arctomecon humilis (Papaveraceae) across a quarter century: Unraveling of a pollination web? Western North American Naturalist 74:311–324. BioOne
Vander Zanden, M.J., J.D. Olden, and C. Gratton. 2006. Food-web approaches in restoration ecology. Pp. 165–189 in D. Falk, D. Palmer, M. Zedler, and J. Zedler, eds., Foundations of Restoration Ecology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Vitousek, P., H.A. Mooney, J. Lubchenco, and J.M. Melillo. 1997. Human domination of earth’s ecosystems. Science 277:494–497. CrossRef
Waser, N.M., L. Chittka, M.V. Price, N.M. Williams, and J. Ollerton. 1996. Generalization in pollination systems, and why it matters. Ecology 77:1043–1060. CrossRef
Welch. B.A., P.H. Geissler, and P. Latham. 2014. Early detection of invasive plants—Principles and practices. US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5162. <http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20125162>.
Wethington, S.M., G.C. West, and B.A. Carlson. 2005. Hummingbird conservation: Discovering diversity patterns in southwest USA. Pp. 162–168 in G.J. Gottfried, B.S. Gebow, L.G. Eskew, and C.B. Edminster, compilers, Connecting Mountain Islands and Desert Seas: Biodiversity and Management of the Madrean Archipelago II. 2004 May 11–15; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-36, US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO.
Wratten, S.D., M. Gillespie, A. Decourtye, E. Mader, and N. Desneux. 2012. Pollinator habitat enhancement: Benefits to other ecosystem services. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 159:112–122. CrossRef
Zavaleta, E.S., R.J. Hobbs, and H.A. Mooney. 2001. Viewing invasive species removal in a whole-ecosystem context. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16:454–459. CrossRef