Body size phenology in a regional bee fauna: A temporal extension of Bergmann's rule

Osorio-Canadas, S., Arnan, X., Rodrigo, A., Torné-Noguera, A., Molowny, R., Bosch, J. (2016) Body size phenology in a regional bee fauna: A temporal extension of Bergmann's rule. Ecology Letters. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/ele.12687

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Local and landscape effects in a host-parasitoid interaction network along a forest-cropland gradient

Osorio S., Arnan X., Bassols E., Vicens N., Bosch J. (2015) Local and landscape effects in a host-parasitoid interaction network along a forest-cropland gradient. Ecological Applications. 25: 1869-1879.
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Doi: 10.1890/14-2476.1

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Land-use driven habitat modification is a major driver of biodiversity loss and impoverishment of interaction diversity. This may affect ecosystem services such as pollination and biological control. Our objective is to analyze the effects of local (nesting environment: farms vs. tree stands) and landscape (forest-cropland gradient) factors on the structure and composition of a cavity-nesting bee-wasp (CNBW) community, their nests associates (henceforth parasitoids), and their interactions. We set up 24 nest-trapping stations in a fragmented, extensively farmed area of ∼100 km2. We obtained 2035 nests containing 7572 brood cells representing 17 bee and 18 wasp species, attacked by 20 parasitoid species. Community structure and composition, as well as network structure, were much more dependent on local than on landscape factors. Host abundance and richness were higher in farms. In addition, host abundance was positively correlated to cropland cover. We also found highly significant differences between nesting environments in host community composition. Structure and composition of the parasitoid community were conditioned by the structure and composition of the host community. Network structure was affected by nesting environment but not by landscape factors. Interactions tended to be more diverse in farms. This result was mostly explained by differences in network size (greater in farms). However, generality was significantly higher in farms even after controlling for network size, indicating that differences in species' interaction patterns associated to differences in community composition between the two nesting environments are also affecting network structure. In conclusion, open habitats associated with extensively farmed exploitations favor local CNBW diversity (especially bees) and result in more complex host-parasitoid interaction networks in comparison to forested areas. The conservation value of this kind of open habitat is important in view of the progressive abandonment of extensively cultivated farmland taking place in Europe at the expense of agricultural intensification and reforestation. © 2015 by the Ecological Society of America.

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Determinants of spatial distribution in a bee community: Nesting resources, flower resources, and body size

Torne-Noguera A., Rodrigo A., Arnan X., Osorio S., Barril-Graells H., Da Rocha-Filho L.C., Bosch J. (2014) Determinants of spatial distribution in a bee community: Nesting resources, flower resources, and body size. PLoS ONE. 9: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097255

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Understanding biodiversity distribution is a primary goal of community ecology. At a landscape scale, bee communities are affected by habitat composition, anthropogenic land use, and fragmentation. However, little information is available on local-scale spatial distribution of bee communities within habitats that are uniform at the landscape scale. We studied a bee community along with floral and nesting resources over a 32 km2 area of uninterrupted Mediterranean scrubland. Our objectives were (i) to analyze floral and nesting resource composition at the habitat scale. We ask whether these resources follow a geographical pattern across the scrubland at bee-foraging relevant distances; (ii) to analyze the distribution of bee composition across the scrubland. Bees being highly mobile organisms, we ask whether bee composition shows a homogeneous distribution or else varies spatially. If so, we ask whether this variation is irregular or follows a geographical pattern and whether bees respond primarily to flower or to nesting resources; and (iii) to establish whether body size influences the response to local resource availability and ultimately spatial distribution. We obtained 6580 specimens belonging to 98 species. Despite bee mobility and the absence of environmental barriers, our bee community shows a clear geographical pattern. This pattern is mostly attributable to heterogeneous distribution of small (<55 mg) species (with presumed smaller foraging ranges), and is mostly explained by flower resources rather than nesting substrates. Even then, a large proportion (54.8%) of spatial variability remains unexplained by flower or nesting resources. We conclude that bee communities are strongly conditioned by local effects and may exhibit spatial heterogeneity patterns at a scale as low as 500-1000 m in patches of homogeneous habitat. These results have important implications for local pollination dynamics and spatial variation of plant-pollinator networks. © 2014 Torné-Noguera et al.

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