Pollinator-friendly plants for restoration
Pollinators are essential to the survival and health of natural ecosystems but are declining worldwide. Because of this, there is urgent need to restore pollinators and the services they provide. One way to address this need is to use pollinator-friendly plants in revegetation projects (roadsides, fire rehabilitation, etc.), but land managers lack information about which plants are best for pollinators. RMRS and partners at Montana State University are assessing the pollinator-friendliness of native plant species that are available for revegetation in Montana to produce a guide identifying the best species mixes to support the greatest number of species and abundance of pollinators. We found that plant species vary widely in the abundance, diversity, and community of pollinator species that each attract. However, several plant species are superstars that are visited by most pollinator species across a diversity of habitats. These focal-plant species can form a backbone in seed mixes to successfully restore diverse and stable plant and pollinator communities.