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Dispersal capacity and diet breadth modify the response of wild bees to habitat loss

Bommarco, R., Biesmeijer, J. C., Meyer, B., Potts, S. G. ORCID:, Po¨yry, J. and Roberts, S. P. M. (2010) Dispersal capacity and diet breadth modify the response of wild bees to habitat loss. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. ISSN 1471-2954

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2221


Habitat loss poses a major threat to biodiversity, and species-specific extinction risks are inextricably linked to life-history characteristics. This relationship is still poorly documented for many functionally important taxa, and at larger continental scales. With data from five replicated field studies from three countries, we examined how species richness of wild bees varies with habitat patch size. We hypothesized that the form of this relationship is affected by body size, degree of host plant specialization and sociality. Across all species, we found a positive species–area slope (z ¼ 0.19), and species traits modified this relationship. Large-bodied generalists had a lower z value than small generalists. Contrary to predictions, small specialists had similar or slightly lower z value compared with large specialists, and small generalists also tended to be more strongly affected by habitat loss as compared with small specialists. Social bees were negatively affected by habitat loss (z ¼ 0.11) irrespective of body size. We conclude that habitat loss leads to clear shifts in the species composition of wild bee communities.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:5953
Uncontrolled Keywords:habitat fragmentation; pollinator; body size; resource specialisation; sociality; Bombus
Publisher:The Royal Society

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