The role of dietary breadth in national bumblebee (Bombus) declines: Simple correlation?
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.
|Authors||Connop, S., Hill, Tom, Steer, Jonathan and Shaw, Phil|
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.
|Keywords||Bombus sylvarum; Bombus humilis; habitat management; dietary breadth; specialization|
|Journal citation||143 (11), pp. 2739-2746|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.07.021|
|14 Aug 2010|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||05 Oct 2016|
|Accepted||19 Jul 2010|
|Funder||Cleanaway Pitsea and Canvey Marshes Trust|
|Cleanaway Pitsea and Canvey Marshes Trust|
|Copyright information||© 2010 Elsevier|
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