A bee on one of many blooming sunflowers

Journal Club Article for April 22, 2022

This Fri­day, April 22, 2022, from 12–1 pm EDT, we will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing. The arti­cle is titled “Wild Bee Abun­dance Declines with Urban Warm­ing, Regard­less of Flo­ral Den­si­ty”, and will be pre­sent­ed by STEM Research intern Nathanaelle Brignol.

Abstract: As cities expand, con­ser­va­tion of ben­e­fi­cial insects is essen­tial to main­tain­ing robust urban ecosys­tem ser­vices such as pol­li­na­tion. Urban warm­ing alters insect phys­i­ol­o­gy, fit­ness, and abun­dance, but the effect of urban warm­ing on pol­li­na­tor com­mu­ni­ties has not been inves­ti­gat­ed. We sam­pled bees at 18 sites encom­pass­ing an urban warm­ing mosa­ic with­in Raleigh, NC, USA. We quan­ti­fied habi­tat vari­ables at all sites by mea­sur­ing air tem­per­a­ture, per­cent imper­vi­ous sur­face (on local and land­scape scales), flo­ral den­si­ty, and flo­ral diver­si­ty. We test­ed the hypoth­e­sis that urban bee com­mu­ni­ty struc­ture depends on tem­per­a­ture. We also con­duct­ed mod­el selec­tion to deter­mine whether tem­per­a­ture was among the most impor­tant pre­dic­tors of urban bee com­mu­ni­ty struc­ture. Final­ly, we asked whether bee respons­es to tem­per­a­ture or imper­vi­ous sur­face depend­ed on bee func­tion­al traits. Bee abun­dance declined by about 41% per °C urban warm­ing, and tem­per­a­ture was among the best pre­dic­tors of bee abun­dance and com­mu­ni­ty com­po­si­tion. Local imper­vi­ous sur­face and flo­ral den­si­ty were also impor­tant pre­dic­tors of bee abun­dance, although only large bees appeared to ben­e­fit from high flo­ral den­si­ty. Bee species rich­ness increased with flo­ral den­si­ty regard­less of bee size, and bee respons­es to urban habi­tat vari­ables were inde­pen­dent of oth­er life-his­to­ry traits. Although we doc­u­ment ben­e­fits of high flo­ral den­si­ty, sim­ply adding flow­ers to oth­er­wise hot, imper­vi­ous sites is unlike­ly to restore the entire urban pol­li­na­tor com­mu­ni­ty since flo­ral resources ben­e­fit large bees more than small bees.


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 Car­ly Mack­ler on Unsplash

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