Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs


Bees and other insect pollinators which are necessary for the successful reproduction of most species of flowering plants, including agricultural crops, have been ignored by our preservation efforts. This is unfortunate because bees, as low-fecundity organisms, are very susceptible to insecticides and populations are slow to recover from perturbations. Many species of bees, particularly specialized species in the western United States and the tropics, are vulnerable to extinction. With extinctions of specialized forms, generalized species, especially fugitives, are expected to increase because of their ability to utilize a variety of resources and survive beyond the confines of preserves. The possible effects of increased dominance by generalist pollinators on floral species composition is discussed.