University of Minnesota
June 28, 2022
Most people spend little time considering roadsides. Not so for College of Biological Sciences Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Emilie Snell-Rood, who has overseen three projects and more than 400 roadside site surveys in Minnesota to determine the benefits and the risks of developing roadside habitats for declining native plants and pollinators. She is using the results of this research to help with conservation efforts by providing data-driven guidance to roadside managers.
Providing crucial support for 70 percent of the country’s crops, pollinators and insects, including native bees and monarch butterflies, are an important part of our ecosystem, yet many are declining due to factors including habitat loss. To counteract this decline, many are looking toward investing in roadsides, including the Biden Administration, which recently passed an infrastructure bill containing millions of dollars in funding toward roadside monarch habitat. In Minnesota alone, roadsides offer the potential for over half a million acres of viable pollinator-friendly habitat.
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