A fire hydrant and plants by a pond

Journal Club Article for December 3, 2021

This Fri­day, Decem­ber 3rd, 2021, from 12–1pm, we will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing. The arti­cle is titled “The effects of urban­iza­tion on bee com­mu­ni­ties depends on flo­ral resource avail­abil­i­ty and bee func­tion­al traits”, and will be pre­sent­ed by STEM Research intern Nathanaelle Brignol.

Abstract: Wild bees are impor­tant pol­li­na­tors in many ecosys­tems threat­ened by anthro­pogenic dis­tur­bance. Urban devel­op­ment can reduce and degrade nat­ur­al habi­tat for bees and oth­er pol­li­na­tors. How­ev­er, some researchers sug­gest that cities could also pro­vide refuge for bees, giv­en that agri­cul­tur­al inten­si­fi­ca­tion may pose a greater risk. In this study, we sur­veyed bee com­mu­ni­ties at 15 farms and gar­dens across an urban-rur­al gra­di­ent in south­east­ern Michi­gan, USA to eval­u­ate the effect of urban­iza­tion on bees. We exam­ined how flo­ral resources, bee func­tion­al traits, tem­per­a­ture, farm size, and the spa­tial scale of analy­sis influ­ence bee response to urban­iza­tion. We found that urban­iza­tion pos­i­tive­ly affect­ed bee diver­si­ty and even­ness but had no effect on total abun­dance or species rich­ness. Addi­tion­al­ly, urban­iza­tion altered bee com­mu­ni­ty com­po­si­tion via dif­fer­en­tial effects on bee species and func­tion­al groups. More urban­ized sites sup­port­ed a greater num­ber of exot­ic, above-ground nest­ing, and soli­tary bees, but few­er euso­cial bees. Bloom­ing plant species rich­ness pos­i­tive­ly influ­enced bee species diver­si­ty and rich­ness. Fur­ther­more, the amount of avail­able flo­ral resources was pos­i­tive­ly asso­ci­at­ed with exot­ic and euso­cial bee abun­dances. Across sites, near­ly 70% of flo­ral resources were pro­vid­ed by exot­ic plants, most of which are char­ac­ter­ized as weedy but not inva­sive. Our study demon­strates that urban­iza­tion can ben­e­fit some bee species and neg­a­tive­ly impact oth­ers. Notably, Bom­bus and Lasioglos­sum (Dial­ic­tus), were two impor­tant pol­li­na­tor groups neg­a­tive­ly affect­ed by urban­iza­tion. Our study sup­ports the idea that urban envi­ron­ments can pro­vide valu­able habi­tat for diverse bee com­mu­ni­ties, but demon­strates that some bees are vul­ner­a­ble to urban­iza­tion. Final­ly, while our results indi­cate that increas­ing the abun­dance and rich­ness of flo­ral resources could par­tial­ly com­pen­sate for neg­a­tive effects of urban­iza­tion on bees, the effec­tive­ness of such mea­sures may be lim­it­ed by oth­er fac­tors, such as urban warming.


Meet­ing ID: 549 554 5262

Mas­sas­oit STEM events are open to ALL Mas­sas­oit stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff.

Mas­sas­oit Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege encour­ages per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in its pro­grams and activ­i­ties. If you antic­i­pate need­ing any type of accom­mo­da­tion or have ques­tions relat­ed to access for this event, please con­tact the Divi­sion of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics at sciencemath@massasoit.edu in advance of your par­tic­i­pa­tion or visit.

Pho­to by Nicholas Vas­sios on Unsplash

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.