On Monday, March 21, 2022, from 12–1PM EDT, we will discuss the linked article at our next weekly Journal Club meeting. The article is titled “The effects of forest fragmentation on bee communities in tropical countryside”, and will be presented by STEM Research intern James O’Neil.
Abstract: We examined bee community responses to forest fragment size, shape, isolation and landscape context (forest variables) by sampling foraging bees at ground level using aerial netting within, and in pastures adjacent to, 22 forest fragments ranging in area from c. 0·25 ha to 230 ha, in southern Costa Rica. We sampled each site 13 times in total, in both wet and dry seasons. Although there were no effects of forest variables on bee diversity and abundance, we did find strong changes in bee community composition. In particular, tree-nesting meliponines (social stingless bees) were associated with larger fragments, smaller edge:area ratios and greater proportions of forest surrounding sample points, while introduced Apis showed opposite patterns. Community composition was also strikingly different between forests and pastures, despite their spatial proximity. In forests, even in the smallest patches, meliponines comprised a much larger proportion of the apifauna, and orchid bees (euglossines) were common. In pastures, Apis was much more abundant and no euglossine bees were found. These results agree broadly with other studies that have found contrasting responses to habitat fragmentation from different bee groups. Conserving meliponine bees, important for pollination of coffee and other crops, and euglossine bees, critical in long-distance pollen transport, will require forest.
Meeting ID: 549 554 5262
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