Nav: Home

Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument home to rich bee diversity

November 07, 2018

LOGAN, UTAH, USA - The state of Utah's nickname is "The Beehive State," and the moniker couldn't be more apt, say Utah State University scientists. One out of every four bee species in the United States is found In Utah and the arid, western state is home to more bee species than most states in the nation. About half of those species dwell within the original boundaries of the newly reduced Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

"The monument is a hotspot of bee diversity," says USU-Tooele entomologist Joseph Wilson, associate professor in USU's Department of Biology, who, with scientist and USU alum Olivia Messinger Carril, USDA entomologist Terry Griswold and USU emeritus professor James Haefner, reported 660 species now identified in the protected region in the November 7, 2018 issue of PeerJ.

Carril is lead author of the paper, which describes a four-year study, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the USDA, in southern Utah's GSENM. "We identified almost as many species as are known in the entire eastern United States," says Carril, a bee researcher based in Santa Fe, NM. "We discovered 49 previously unknown species, as well as 150 'morphospecies,' that is, somewhat unique species that don't match known species."

Located in south central Utah, about 250 miles south of Salt Lake City and 200 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Grand Staircase is situated in the arid, sandstone Kaiparowits Plateau and adjacent canyons.

"Many are surprised to learn 87 percent of Utah's flowering plant species live within the monuments boundaries," Carril says. "Which likely contributes to the rich diversity of pollinators."

Bees found within the monument's original boundaries, she says, include ground-nesters, cavity and twig-nesters, cleptoparasites, narrow specialists, generalists, solitary and social species. During the team's study, the bee fauna reached peak diversity each spring, but also experienced a second peak in diversity in late summer, following monsoonal rains. "It's an amazing natural laboratory of pollinators, of which we don't know a lot," Wilson says. "The large reduction of this protected areas could have implications for future biodiversity."
-end-


Utah State University

Related Diversity Articles:

Revealing Aspergillus diversity for industrial applications
In a Feb. 14, 2017 study published in Genome Biology, an international team report sequencing the genomes of 10 novel Aspergillus species, which were compared with the eight other sequenced Aspergillus species.
Important to maintain a diversity of habitats in the sea
Researchers from University of Gothenburg and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) show that both species diversity and habitat diversity are critical to understand the functioning of ecosystems.
Discovering what shapes language diversity
A research team led by Colorado State University is the first to use a form of simulation modeling to study the processes that shape language diversity patterns.
Making the switch to polarization diversity
New silicon photonic chip that offers significant improvement to the optical switches used by fiber optic networks to be presented at OFC 2017 in Los Angeles.
Deciphering the emergence of neuronal diversity
Neuroscientists at UNIGE have analysed the diversity of inhibitory interneurons during the developmental period surrounding birth.
Epigenetic diversity in childhood cancer
Tumors of the elderly carry many DNA mutations that can influence disease course.
Diversity without limits
Now, researchers at Temple and Oakland universities have completed a new tree of prokaryotic life calibrated to time, assembled from 11,784 species of bacteria.
Threatened by diversity
Psychologist Brenda Major identifies what may be a key factor in many white Americans' support for Donald Trump.
Diversity as natural pesticide
Monoculture crops provide the nutrient levels insect pests crave, explains a study led by the University of California, Davis, in the journal Nature. Returning plant diversity to farmland could be a key step toward sustainable pest control.
A missing influence in keeping diversity within the academy?
A new study of science Ph.D.s who embarked on careers between 2004 and 2014 showed that while nearly two-thirds chose employment outside academic science, their reasons for doing so had little to do with the advice they received from faculty advisors, other scientific mentors, family, or even graduate school peers.

Related Diversity Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".