Scaling Up to Conservation Guidelines: Lake Chapala Basin Wild Bee-Plant Interaction Network Conservation Project

Luis Raúl Martínez García

Other projects

25 May 2022

Baseline Research for the Conservation of Wild Bee-Plants Interaction Networks in Intensive-Agriculture Landscapes, Lake Chapala Basin, Mexico

Previously we focused on establishing a base-line research for conservation of wild-bee-plant-interactions in intensive-agriculture-landscapes, Lake Chapala basin, Mexico. Our project is acknowledged positively by local-people, universities, federal-institutions, and private-sector. We remained committed to advancing ecosystem and pollinator conservation-goals, achieving several first-phase objectives. We aim to continue assessing wild-bee-communities, focusing on functional-diversity and ecological interactions, simultaneously advancing taxonomic-determination started in first phase. Recognizing the importance of community involvement for a significant socio-environmental impact, we plan to conduct workshops to engage the Restoration and Conservation Council for Biodiversity and Ecosystems of the Chapala Region in conservation activities. This council will lead agricultural practices to balance food security and preserve wild bees by developing public policies on biodiversity and ecosystem planning.

This project will be carried out around the Lake Chapala, covering an elevation range between 1500 and 1800 masl; lower left corner: 19.9489, -103.6715; right upper corner: 20.6113, -102.4886. Lake Chapala centroid at: 20.2363, -103.0201) Lerma-Chapala-Santiago sub-basins are some of the most important water exploitation areas in the region, which supplies Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, one of the largest urban areas in Mexico.

Wild bee of very rare detection, Ctenioschelus chalcodes. © Luis Mtz.

Wild bee of very rare detection, Ctenioschelus chalcodes. © Luis Mtz.

Out aims are focused on:

- Enriching human perception of nature

The overarching goal is to deepen human understanding of nature through a multifaceted approach. This includes conducting science dissemination workshops within municipal agriculture-centers to highlight the importance of plant-bee interactions. We will create a wild-bee and plant catalog, resembling a field guide, to provide valuable resources. The project also involves presenting the findings through a photography gallery and organizing a story contest in educational institutions. Radio shorts also will facilitate science-dissemination.

- Encouraging a new policy actions agenda

We will develop of a manual outlining good agricultural practices and land-use schemes. The focus is on maintaining and conserving wild-bee communities and their associated plants. The project seeks to influence national and international agendas for pollinator conservation, this includes developing a monitoring protocol for plant-wild-bee interactions vulnerability in agricultural-landscapes, identifying and evaluating bees from the Lake Chapala basin for potential listing in conservation categories according to IUCN Red List protocols.

- Driving scientific discovery and knowledge

Framed within the hypotheses presented by Tscharntke et al. (2012), the project addresses theoretical gaps in intensive agriculture neotropical landscapes. The project aims to enhance understanding of how plant-wild bee interactions are influenced by landscape attributes. The initiative also includes a commitment to providing training for at least one master's student, contributing to scientific knowledge and capacity building.

This project is conducted within the collaborative network involving the Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL), Bajío Regional Center, within the Biodiversity in Neotropical Landscapes Laboratory (BPNLab), led by Dr. Carlos Cultid, and the Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Ecosur), San Cristóbal de Las Casas, specifically the Equipo Abejas, led by Dr. Rémy Vandame."

Header: Specialist wild bee of genus Ashmeadiella sp. on prickly pear. © Luis Mtz.

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