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Hofmann, Michaela M. and Renner, Susanne S. (2018): Bee species recorded between 1992 and 2017 from green roofs in Asia, Europe, and North America, with key characteristics and open research questions. In: Apidologie, Vol. 49, No. 3: pp. 307-313

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Green roofs, which have become mandatory on new flat-topped buildings in many cities, increase habitat connectivity for wildlife and have contributed to a boom in urban beekeeping. The ecological benefits or risks of green roofs for wild bees (bee species other than the domesticated honey bee, Apis mellifera), however, have not been comprehensively analyzed. We therefore reviewed studies on insects caught on green roofs in Asia, Europe, or North America between 1992 and early 2017 and extracted information on wild bees. The resulting species list includes 236 Apidae identified in 35 studies, with thermophilic species probably overrepresented because roofs provide warm and dry habitats. The percentage of cavity-nesting bees on roofs is higher than that on nearby ground, while the percentage of pollen specialists is lower. Data are almost completely lacking on the reproductive success of bees on green roofs, the effect of roof age on bee diversity, and the genetic or demographic benefits of increased habitat connectivity. Our list of the bee species so far reported on green roofs will help in the selection and implementation of suitable soils, nesting aids, and plantings.

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