Opportunities for and impediments to pollinator conservation in urban settings: a review.
Urban plants and the design and maintenance of urban landscapes play a critical role in pollinator conservation and the preservation of essential ecosystem services. Effective conservation decisions and planning require careful assessment of the consequences of land use change, and the effects of local and landscape scale factors on bees, butterflies, flies, and other pollinators. Understanding and not under-estimating the needs of the various pollinator functional guilds to inform conservation strategies are critical to success. Research indicates that diverse pollinator assemblages can be enhanced and conserved in urban areas through local and landscape scale efforts. Education and communication are key elements needed to engage policy makers to move conservation forward at the accelerated pace required to address current (rapid urbanization) and impending (climate change and invasive species) challenges. Conservation and protection of urban pollinators and the ecosystem services that they provide require that we move from reactive to proactive activities that tie together regional efforts. Citizen science initiatives can be effective ways to communicate essential information, garner public support, and acquire valuable data concerning pollinators in a cost-effective manner. Improving our knowledge of bee life history, phenology, and nesting sites is essential. Understanding the role and lifecycles of lesser-known pollinators like flies (Diptera) and wasps (Hymenoptera) is vital while there is a critical need to expand our available taxonomic expertise. In this review, we discuss case studies integrating elements of pest and pollinator management through plant selection, landscape and recreational area design, and community engagement with the goal of pollinator conservation. Decision-making resources are included.