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.

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, with increased focus globally on enhancing pollinator conservation through habitat management. Pollinator-friendly habitat management can be a valuable tool for stemming the decline of several high-profile species, including pollinator species recently listed (Rusty-patched Bumble Bee) or under consideration for listing in the Northeast by the U.S. Endangered Species Act (Monarch butterfly, Regal Fritillary, Frosted Elfin, Yellow-banded Bumble Bee). Habitat management for pollinators and other proactive conservation measures by State Departments of Transportation and other Agencies may receive consideration by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when making final species listing decisions in the coming months and years. Furthermore, habitat enhancement benefiting species of federal conservation concern, if practiced strategically, can benefit a wide diversity of other pollinator species of state and regional importance and lead to reduced costs over time. 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. All of these factors must be considered when developing habitat management plans to enhance pollinator population persistence. Rights of way (ROWs) are managed lands that comprise a relatively small portion of Maine’s landscape overall, however, they potentially have a disproportionate effect on pollinator communities as they may simultaneously fragment, connect, create, enhance, or compromise pollinator habitat. A significant body of literature is accumulating on the subject of pollinator habitat preferences and recommended management practices to support and enhance such habitats. A systematic review and quantitative summary of pollinator habitat management literature, with a focus on roadsides and ROWs, can help inform and improve pollinator conservation practices in Maine by Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other regional natural resource agency partners. The research team proposes to conduct a review and meta-analysis of scientific and technical literature about land management for pollinator conservation, with a focus on roadsides and rights-of-way. This analysis approach complements a strict narrative literature review by applying objective statistical analyses to systematically assess patterns across multiple studies that explore a common research question yet with seemingly conflicting findings. The meta-analysis will be guided by these focal questions: (1) Are there specific ROW management practices that enhance pollinator abundance and diversity? (2) Are there elements of landscape context that serve to enhance (e.g., adjacent fields or wetlands) or threaten (e.g,. traffic volume, road class) the success of ROW management for pollinators? (3) How do answers to these questions inform Best Management Practices for ROW habitat enhancement for pollinators? Additionally, the team will analyze survey data collected during 2017 by F. Drummond at ten managed Priority 1 roads in Maine to assess the survey results in a broader landscape context, and they will include these findings in their review.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • Status: Programmed
  • Funding: $60000
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Maine Department of Transportation

    16 Statehouse Station
    Augusta, ME  United States  04333
  • Start Date: 20180301
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01656804
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Maine Department of Transportation
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 22 2018 10:47AM