The role of dietary breadth in national bumblebee (Bombus) declines: Simple correlation?

Article


Connop, S., Hill, Tom, Steer, Jonathan and Shaw, Phil 2010. The role of dietary breadth in national bumblebee (Bombus) declines: Simple correlation? Biological Conservation. 143 (11), pp. 2739-2746.
AuthorsConnop, S., Hill, Tom, Steer, Jonathan and Shaw, Phil
Abstract

Bumblebee species declines have been reported in Europe, North America and Asia. Loss of suitable habitat to agricultural intensification is considered to be the main cause of declines in Europe. Differential impacts on species have been recorded but insufficient knowledge of species ecology means that effective conservation management prescriptions cannot be put into place with certainty.

Dietary specialisation, specifically on flowers of Fabaceae, has been hypothesised as driving differential declines but the reliability of previous studies has been questioned. Here we present a three-year study of the foraging behaviour of two UK Biodiversity Action Plan bumblebee species. For the first time, analysis of nectar and pollen foraging was performed on sites where nationally rare UK bumblebees were as abundant as more nationally ubiquitous species.

Results indicated that the nationally rare Bombus sylvarum collected the majority of its pollen from flowers of Odontites verna and had a significantly narrower mean nectar dietary breadth than ecologically similar species Bombus humilis and Bombus pascuorum (p = 0.004 and 0.008 respectively). In contrast, the dietary breadth of the nationally rare B. humilis was similar to the more nationally ubiquitous species B. pascuorum and Bombus lapidarius. Moreover, B. lapidarius was recorded as having the narrowest pollen dietary breadth, collected pollen from the least number of floral taxa and was the most specialised of the Bombus species on pollen of Fabaceae.

Patterns of dietary specialization were inconsistent with national declines and results highlighted a need for further detailed investigation into the factors contributing to differential declines.

KeywordsBombus sylvarum; Bombus humilis; habitat management; dietary breadth; specialization
JournalBiological Conservation
Journal citation143 (11), pp. 2739-2746
ISSN00063207
Year2010
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.07.021
Publication dates
Print14 Aug 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Oct 2016
Accepted19 Jul 2010
FunderCleanaway Pitsea and Canvey Marshes Trust
Cleanaway Pitsea and Canvey Marshes Trust
Copyright information© 2010 Elsevier
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Manipulating soil microbial communities in extensive green roof substrates
Molineux, C., Connop, S. and Gange, Alan 2014. Manipulating soil microbial communities in extensive green roof substrates. Science of the Total Environment. 493, pp. 632-638.
Are microbial communities in green roof substrates comparable to those in post-industrial sites?—a preliminary study.
Molineux, C., Gange, Alan, Connop, S. and Newport, D. 2015. Are microbial communities in green roof substrates comparable to those in post-industrial sites?—a preliminary study. Urban Ecosystems. 18 (4), pp. 1245-1260.
Barking Riverside Green Roof Experiment: Phase 2
Connop, S. and Nash, Caroline 2014. Barking Riverside Green Roof Experiment: Phase 2. London University of East London.
TURAS Multidisciplinary urban landscape design guidelines: Poplar HARCA - Carradale House
Connop, S., Clough, Jack and Nash, Caroline 2013. TURAS Multidisciplinary urban landscape design guidelines: Poplar HARCA - Carradale House. London University of East London.
TURAS green roof design guidelines: Maximising ecosystem service provision through regional design for biodiversity
Connop, S., Gedge, Dusty, Kadas, Gyongyver, Nash, Caroline, Owczareck, Kinga and Newport, D. 2013. TURAS green roof design guidelines: Maximising ecosystem service provision through regional design for biodiversity. London University of East London.
Transitioning to resilience and sustainability in urban communities
Collier, Marcus J., Nedović-Budić, Zorica, Aerts, Jeroen, Connop, S., Foley, Dermot, Foley, Karen, Newport, D., McQuaid, Siobhán, Slaev, Aleksander and Verburg, Peter 2013. Transitioning to resilience and sustainability in urban communities. Cities.
Microsatellite analysis reveals the spatial dynamics of Bombus humilis and Bombus sylvarum
Connop, S. and Steer, Jonathan 2010. Microsatellite analysis reveals the spatial dynamics of Bombus humilis and Bombus sylvarum. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 4 (3), pp. 212-221.
University of East London: the biodiversity evidence‐base
Freeman, Jamie, Lindsay, R., Marr, Melissa and Connop, S. 2010. University of East London: the biodiversity evidence‐base. London University of East London.