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Journal Article

Distribution and forage use of exotic bumblebees in South Island, New Zealand

01 Jan 2004-New Zealand Journal of Ecology (New Zealand Ecological Society)-Vol. 28, Iss: 2, pp 225-232

TL;DR: Results provide support for the hypothesis that the loss of flower-rich meadows, particularly those containing populations of Fabaceae species with long corollae, is responsible for the decline of bumblebee species across Europe.

AbstractThe rapid decline in bumblebee populations within Europe has been linked to habitat loss through agricultural intensification, and a consequential reduction in the availability of preferred forage plants. The successful introduction of four European Bombus species to the South Island of New Zealand from England (in 1885 and 1906) provides an opportunity to determine how important different forage plants (also introduced from the U.K.) are to two severely threatened European bumblebee species (Bombus ruderatus and B. subterraneus). In January 2003 we conducted a survey of bumblebee populations across 70 sites in the central and southern South Island, recording which plant species were being used as pollen and nectar sources for each Bombus species. All four bumblebee species showed a clear preference for plants of European origin. Only B. terrestris, the most polylectic species, was recorded feeding on native plant species. The longer-tongued bumblebees, B. hortorum, B. ruderatus, and B. subterraneus, foraged predominantly on just two plant species; Trifolium pratense for both nectar and pollen, and Echium vulgare for nectar. These plant species are now declining in abundance in the U.K. Our results provide support for the hypothesis that the loss of flower-rich meadows, particularly those containing populations of Fabaceae species with long corollae, is responsible for the decline of bumblebee species across Europe. Comparison with earlier bumblebee surveys suggests that long-tongued bumblebees may also be in decline in New Zealand, particularly B. subterraneus which is now very localised and scarce.

Topics: Bombus ruderatus (75%), Bumblebee (64%), Introduced species (57%), Threatened species (53%), Native plant (52%)

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Overall, Fabaceae appear to be the major pollen source for most bumblebee species, but long-tongued, late emerging species such as Bombus ruderatus, Bombus humilis and Bombus subterraneus specialize heavily in gathering pollen from Fabaceae, and this group of bumblebees species have all declined.
Abstract: Many bumblebee (Bombus) species are thought to have declined in abundance in the last 50 years, while a small number of species remain abundant. Here we examine which factors render some British bumblebee species more susceptible to environmental change than others. We present forage data on workers of 15 bumblebee species gathered from 172 one hour searches conducted at sites in southern UK, the Hebrides (western Scotland) and in New Zealand (to which UK bumblebees were introduced). We also review data on distribution, phenology and tongue length of these species. Overall, Fabaceae appear to be the major pollen source for most bumblebee species. In particular, long-tongued, late emerging species such as Bombus ruderatus, Bombus humilis and Bombus subterraneus specialize heavily in gathering pollen from Fabaceae, and this group of bumblebee species have all declined. Some of them are also at the edge of their geographic range in the UK, which may have rendered them more sensitive to environmental change. The decline of many bumblebee species is probably attributable largely to the loss of unimproved flower-rich grasslands, a habitat rich in Fabaceae. The bumblebee species that remain abundant are mostly short-tongued species that emerge early in the season and have less specialized diets; these species are very common in suburban gardens where they are able to exploit the broad range of floral resources. A third group of bumblebees are strongly associated with Ericaceae in moorland and heathland habitats, and have probably always had restricted distributions. A small number of species are not so easily categorised. Bombus soroeensis and B. ruderarius are not dietary specialists, nor are they close to the limit of their geographic range, but nevertheless they have declined. Much of the ecology of rare bumblebee species remains poorly understood and in need of further study.

414 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that both climate change and alien species will ultimately lead to the creation of novel communities, and certain interactions may no longer occur while there will also be potential for the emergence of new relationships.
Abstract: Global change may substantially affect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning but little is known about its effects on essential biotic interactions. Since different environmental drivers rarely act in isolation it is important to consider interactive effects. Here, we focus on how two key drivers of anthropogenic environmental change, climate change and the introduction of alien species, affect plant-pollinator interactions. Based on a literature survey we identify climatically sensitive aspects of species interactions, assess potential effects of climate change on these mechanisms, and derive hypotheses that may form the basis of future research. We find that both climate change and alien species will ultimately lead to the creation of novel communities. In these communities certain interactions may no longer occur while there will also be potential for the emergence of new relationships. Alien species can both partly compensate for the often negative effects of climate change but also amplify them in some cases. Since potential positive effects are often restricted to generalist interactions among species, climate change and alien species in combination can result in significant threats to more specialist interactions involving native species.

281 citations


Cites background from "Distribution and forage use of exot..."

  • ...…complexes Although alien pollinators often visit a wide range of plant species, they tend to preferentially visit alien plants (Stimec, ScottDupree & McAndrews, 1997; Olesen, Eskildsen & Venkatasamy, 2002; Goulson & Hanley, 2004), potentially forming ‘‘invader complexes’’ (Morales & Aizen, 2006)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Summary 1. Bumblebees provide an important pollination service to both crops and wild plants. Many species have declined in the UK, particularly in arable regions. While bumblebee forage requirements have been widely studied, there has been less consideration of whether availability of nesting sites is limiting. It is important to know which habitats contain the most bumblebee nests per unit area in order to guide conservation and management options; particularly in the light of current emphasis on environmental stewardship schemes for farmed landscapes. However, it is extremely difficult to map the distribution of bumblebee nests. 2. We describe the findings of the National Bumblebee Nest Survey, a structured survey carried out by 719 volunteers in the UK during early summer 2004. The surveyors used a defined protocol to record the presence or absence of bumblebee nests in prescribed areas of gardens, short grassland, long grassland and woodland, and along woodland edge, hedgerows and fence lines. The records allowed us to estimate the density of bumblebee nests in each of these habitats for the first time. 3. Nest densities were high in gardens (36 nests ha ‐1 ), and linear countryside habitats (fence lines, hedgerows, woodland edge: 20‐37 nests ha ‐1 ), and lower in non-linear countryside habitats (woodland and grassland: 11‐15 nests ha ‐1 ). 4. Findings on nest location characteristics corroborate those of an earlier survey carried out in the UK (Fussell & Corbet 1992). 5. Synthesis and applications . Gardens provide an important nesting habitat for bumblebees in the UK. In the countryside, the area occupied by linear features is small compared with that of non-linear features. However, as linear features contain high densities of nests, management options affecting such features may have a disproportionately large effect on bumblebee nesting opportunities. Current farm stewardship schemes in the UK are therefore likely to facilitate bumblebee nesting, because they provide clear guidance and support for ‘sympathetic’ hedgerow and field margin management.

236 citations


Cites background from "Distribution and forage use of exot..."

  • ...Journal compilation © 2007 British Ecological Society, Journal of Applied Ecology , 45 , 784–792 reduction in availability of preferred forage as a result of agricultural intensification (Goulson & Darvill 2004; Goulson & Hanley 2004; Goulson et al ....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: How the close relationship between pollen quality and bumblebee attraction may have important benefits for plant reproductive success is discussed, and how the disruption of this mutualism can have detrimental consequences for plant and pollinator alike is shown.
Abstract: Summary 1. Although it is well established that different plant species vary considerably in the quality of pollinator rewards they offer, it is unclear how plant reproductive systems, in particular an obligate dependence on insects for pollination, might influence the evolution of pollinator rewards. Moreover, unlike the interaction between nectar reward and pollinator visitation, we have a limited understanding of the way in which pollen quality influences pollinator foraging behaviour. 2. We quantified the pollen protein and amino acid content for 23 NW European plant species. Pollen quality was compared with breeding system (facultative- vs. obligate insect-pollinated). A subset of 18 plants was sampled from a single habitat. For these we compared the proportion of pollen collection visits made by bumblebees with the quality of pollen offered. 3. We found a significant association between pollen quality and reproductive system; pollen of obligate insect-pollinated species contained higher protein content. We also found a significant relationship with pollinator use; plants most frequently visited by pollen-collecting bumblebees produced the highest-quality pollen. 4. We discuss how the close relationship between pollen quality and bumblebee attraction may have important benefits for plant reproductive success. However, we also show how the disruption of this mutualism can have detrimental consequences for plant and pollinator alike.

171 citations


Cites background or methods from "Distribution and forage use of exot..."

  • ...This approach has been widely used for studies of bumblebee forage use (Goulson & Darvill 2004; Goulson & Hanley 2004; Goulson et al ....

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  • ...The fact that Fabaceae-specialist bumblebees were introduced to New Zealand in order to improve seed set in red clover (Trifolium pratense) underscores the obligate association between plant and pollinator (Goulson & Hanley 2004)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
18 Feb 2015
Abstract: Bumble bees represent one of the most important groups of pollinators. In addition to their ecological and economic relevance , they are also a highly charismatic group which can help to increase the interest of people in realizing, enjoying and conserving natural systems. However, like most animals, bum-ble bees are sensitive to climate. In this atlas, maps depicting potential risks of climate change for bumble bees are shown together with informative summary statistics, ecological background information and a picture of each European species. Thanks to the EU FP7 project STEP, the authors gathered over one million bumblebee records from all over Europe. Based on these data, they modelled the current climatic niche for almost all European species (56 species) and projected future climatically suitable conditions using three climate change scenarios for the years 2050 and 2100. While under a moderate change scenario only 3 species are projected to be at the verge of extinction by 2100, 14 species are at high risk under an intermediate change scenario. Under a most severe change scenario as many as 25 species are projected to lose almost all of their climatically suitable area, while a total of 53 species (77% of the 69 European species) would lose the main part of their suitable area. Climatic risks for bumblebees can be extremely high, depending on the future development of human society, and the corresponding effects on the climate. Strong mitigation strategies are needed to preserve this important species group and to ensure the sustainable provision of pollination services, to which they considerably contribute. On the front cover: Bombus hyperboreus, an Arctic bumblebee species that is threatened by global warming

157 citations


References
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Book
30 Sep 1988
Abstract: Definitions of diversity. Measuring species diversity. Choosing an index and interpreting diversity measures. Sampling problems. Structural diversity. Applications of diversity measures. Summary.

10,689 citations


"Distribution and forage use of exot..." refers background in this paper

  • ...This index is insensitive to sample size (Magurran, 1988), important because samples are inevitably larger for the more common species....

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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 1949-Nature
Abstract: THE 'characteristic' defined by Yule1 and the 'index of diversity' defined by Fisher2 are two measures of the degree of concentration or diversity achieved when the individuals of a population are classified into groups. Both are defined as statistics to be calculated from sample data and not in terms of population constants. The index of diversity has so far been used chiefly with the logarithmic distribution. It cannot be used everywhere, as it does not always give values which are independent of sample size ; it cannot do so, for example, when applied to an infinite population of individuals classified into a finite number of groups. Williams3 has pointed out a relationship between the characteristic and the index of diversity when both are applied to a logarithmic distribution. The present purpose is to define and examine a measure of concentration in terms of population constants.

8,851 citations


"Distribution and forage use of exot..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...To compare the diet breadth of the species recorded, a Simpson’s index was calculated for the diversity of flowers visited (Simpson, 1949):...

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  • ...To compare the diet breadth of the species recorded, a Simpson’s index was calculated for the diversity of flowers visited (Simpson, 1949): where ni is the number of flowers of the ith species that were visited, N is the total number of flowers visited, and s is the total number of flower species…...

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Book
01 Jan 1988

1,104 citations


"Distribution and forage use of exot..." refers background in this paper

  • ...In addition to T. pratense and L. corniculatus, both of which are highly dependent on insects for pollination (Grime et al., 1988), we found substantial numbers of bumblebees visiting lupin (Lupinus arboreus and L. polyphyllus), thistles (Cirsium vulgare), and broom (Cytisus scoparius)....

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  • ...Although H. perforatum is believed to be increasing in abundance in the U.K., the other main forage plants we identified in New Zealand (E. vulgare, L. corniculatus and T. pratense) are all declining (Grime et al., 1988; Rich and Woodruff, 1996)....

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  • ...Each of these species is known to depend substantially or wholly on bee pollinators in order to reproduce (Grime et al., 1988; Stout, 2000; Stout et al., 2002)....

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  • ...corniculatus, both of which are highly dependent on insects for pollination (Grime et al., 1988), we found substantial numbers of bumblebees visiting lupin (Lupinus arboreus and L....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Negative impacts of exotic bees need to be carefully assessed before further introductions are carried out.
Abstract: Bees are generally regarded as beneficial insects for their role in pollination, and in the case of the honeybee Apis mellifera, for production of honey. As a result several bee species have been introduced to countries far beyond their home range, including A. mellifera, bumblebees (Bombus sp.), the alfalfa leafcutter bee Megachile rotundata, and various other solitary species. Possible negative consequences of these introductions include: competition with native pollinators for floral resources; competition for nest sites; co-introduction of natural enemies, particularly pathogens that may infect native organisms; pollination of exotic weeds; and disruption of pollination of native plants. For most exotic bee species little or nothing is known of these possible effects. Research to date has focused mainly on A. mellifera, and has largely been concerned with detecting competition with native flower visitors. Considerable circumstantial evidence has accrued that competition does occur, but no experiment has clearly demonstrated long-term reductions in populations of native organisms. Most researchers agree that this probably reflects the difficulty of carrying out convincing studies of competition between such mobile organisms, rather than a genuine absence of competitive effects. Effects on seed set of exotic weeds are easier to demonstrate. Exotic bees often exhibit marked preferences for visiting flowers of exotic plants. For example, in Australia and New Zealand many weeds from Europe are now visited by European honeybees and bumblebees. Introduced bees are primary pollinators of a number of serious weeds. Negative impacts of exotic bees need to be carefully assessed before further introductions are carried out.

585 citations


"Distribution and forage use of exot..." refers background or result in this paper

  • ...It seems likely that, in Europe at least, agricultural intensification is primarily responsible for the decline of many bumblebee species (Rasmont, 1988; Osborne and Corbet, 1994; Goulson, 2003a), although it is difficult to provide unequivocal evidence....

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  • ...of many bumblebee species (Rasmont, 1988; Osborne and Corbet, 1994; Goulson, 2003a), although it is difficult to provide unequivocal evidence....

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  • ...Our results lend further support to the claim that exotic (bumble- and honey-) bees are important pollinators of various weeds (Sugden et al., 1996; Stout et al., 2002; Goulson, 2003b; Hanley and Goulson, 2003)....

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  • ...Both B. terrestris and B. hortorum, by contrast, remain common throughout most of Northwestern Europe (Goulson, 2003a)....

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Book
01 Jan 2003
TL;DR: This book discusses social organisation and conflict in bumblebee communities, foraging economics, and the effects of introduced bees on native ecosystems.
Abstract: 1. Introduction 2. Thermoregulation 3. Social organisation and conflict 4. Finding a mate 5. Natural enemies 6. Foraging Economics 7. Foraging range 8. Exploitation of patchy resources 9. Choice of flower species 10. Intraspecific floral choices 11. Communication during foraging 12. Competition in bumblebee communities 13. Bumblebees as pollinators 14. Conservation 15. Bumblebees abroad effects of introduced bees on native ecosystems

344 citations


"Distribution and forage use of exot..." refers background or result in this paper

  • ...It seems likely that, in Europe at least, agricultural intensification is primarily responsible for the decline of many bumblebee species (Rasmont, 1988; Osborne and Corbet, 1994; Goulson, 2003a), although it is difficult to provide unequivocal evidence....

    [...]

  • ...Our results lend further support to the claim that exotic (bumble- and honey-) bees are important pollinators of various weeds (Sugden et al., 1996; Stout et al., 2002; Goulson, 2003b; Hanley and Goulson, 2003)....

    [...]

  • ...Both B. terrestris and B. hortorum, by contrast, remain common throughout most of Northwestern Europe (Goulson, 2003a)....

    [...]