In fire-prone West, plants need their pollinators — and vice versa

ScienceDaily | Nov 25, 2020 at 6:40 PM
  • In the face of heartbreaking losses, effort and expense, scientists are still grappling with some of the most basic questions about how fire influences interactions between plants and animals in the natural world.
  • For this study, co-author Laura Burkle at Montana State University led the field inventories of plants and pollinators at 152 plots in Montana representing a wildfire gradient including plots with no recent wildfire (unburned), mixed-severity wildfire and high-severity wildfire.
  • At the sites they compared, the scientists found that the number of individual bees, flies and butterflies — and the flowering plants they frequent — were higher in parts of the landscape that had burned, as opposed to those that hadn’t burned.