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Spatio-temporal shifts in British wild bees in response to changing climate

Wyver, C., Potts, S. G. ORCID:, Edwards, M., Edwards, R. and Senapathi, D. ORCID: (2023) Spatio-temporal shifts in British wild bees in response to changing climate. Ecology and Evolution, 13 (11). e10705. ISSN 2045-7758

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ece3.10705


Climate plays a major role in determining where species occur, and when they are active throughout the year. In the face of a changing climate, many species are shifting their ranges poleward. Many species are also shifting their emergence phenology. Wild bees in Great Britain are susceptible to changes in climatic conditions but little is known about historic or potential future spatio-temporal trends of many species. This study utilized a sliding window approach to assess the impacts of climate on bee emergence dates, estimating the best temperature window for predicting emergence dates of 88 species of wild bees. Using a “middle-of-the-road” (RCP 4.5) and “worst-case” (RCP 8.5) climate scenario for the period 2070-2079, predictions of future emergence dates were made. In general, the best predicting climate window occurred in the 0-3 months preceding emergence. Across the 40 species that showed a shift in emergence dates in response to a climate window, the mean advance was 13.4 days under RCP 4.5 and 24.9 days under RCP 8.5. Species Distribution models were used to predict suitable climate envelopes under historic (1980-1989), current (2010-2019) and future (2070-2079 under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios) climate conditions. These models predict that the climate envelope for 92% of studied species has increased since the 1980s, and for 97% and 93% of species under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 respectively, this is predicted to continue, due to extension of the northern range boundary. While any range changes will be moderated by habitat availability, it highlights that Great Britain will likely experience northward shifts of bee populations in the future. By combining spatial and temporal trends, this work provides an important step towards informing conservation measures suitable for future climates, directing how interventions can be provided in the right place at the right time.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:113734


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