Wild bee diversity increases with local fire severity in a fire-prone landscape

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Although we detected shifts in the relative abundance of several bee and plant genera along the fire severity gradient, the two most abundant bee genera (Bombus and Halictus) responded positively to high fire severity despite differences in their typical foraging ranges. Our study demonstrates that within a large wildfire mosaic, severely burned forest contained the most diverse wild bee communities. This finding has particularly important implications for biodiversity in fire-prone areas given the expected expansion of wildfires in the coming decades.

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