Across urban environments, vegetated habitats provide refuge for biodiversity. Gardens (designed for food crop production) and nurseries (designed for ornamental plant production) are both urban agricultural habitats characterized by high plant species richness but may vary in their ability to support wild pollinators, particularly bees. In gardens, pollinators are valued for crop production. In nurseries, ornamental plants rarely require pollination; thus, the potential of nurseries to support pollinators has not been examined. We asked how these habitats vary in their ability to support wild bees, and what habitat features relate to this variability. In 19 gardens and 11 nurseries in California, USA, we compared how local habitat and landscape features affected wild bee species abundance and richness. To assess local features, we estimated floral richness and measured ground cover as proxies for food and nesting resources, respectively. To assess landscape features, we measured impervious land cover surrounding each site. Our analyses showed that differences in floral richness, local habitat size, and the amount of urban land cover impacted garden wild bee species richness. In nurseries, floral richness and the proportion of native plant species impacted wild bee abundance and richness. We suggest management guidelines for supporting wild pollinators in both habitats.
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