Habitat determinants of abundance, structure and composition of flying Hymenoptera communities in mountain old-growth forests

Arnan X., Bosch J., Comas L., Gracia M., Retana J. (2011) Habitat determinants of abundance, structure and composition of flying Hymenoptera communities in mountain old-growth forests. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 4: 200-211.
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Doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2010.00123.x

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1.Old-growth forests have features that endow them with an extraordinary ecological value. These forests are sources of habitat diversity and, consequently, biodiversity, which makes them a basic objective of conservation programs. Insects have been traditionally used as indicators of forest condition. 2.The aim of this study is to uncover patterns of Hymenoptera abundance and diversity, and their relationship with structural features in old-growth forests. We use pan traps to sample the community of flying Hymenoptera in two old-growth forest types (silver fir and mountain pine) with important structural differences. 3.Compared to other surveys of local Hymenoptera communities, our sampling yielded an extremely high number of species (630). 4.At the plot level, the two forest types showed important differences in family richness and diversity, but not in abundance or in species richness and diversity. However, variability in species richness was higher among pine than silver fir plots, leading to overall higher species richness in the former. 5.Species composition also differed between pine than silver fir forests, and these differences were related to important structural differences between the two forest types. 6.Canonical correspondence and multiple regression analysis yielded contrasting habitat requirements among Hymenoptera families and functional groups (bees, sawflies, parasitic wasps and predatory wasps). 7.We conclude that flying Hymenoptera communities can be used as good indicators of forest structure, habitat complexity and conservation status. © 2010 The Authors. Insect Conservation and Diversity © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society.

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Chemical cues involved in the attraction of the oligolectic bee Hoplitis adunca to its host plant Echium vulgare

Filella I., Bosch J., Llusià J., Peñuelas A., Peñuelas J. (2011) Chemical cues involved in the attraction of the oligolectic bee Hoplitis adunca to its host plant Echium vulgare. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 39: 498-508.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.bse.2011.07.008

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Host recognition is a key process in oligolectic bees but the mechanisms through which they find and recognize appropriate pollen host plant are not entirely clear. Hoplitis adunca is a monolectic bee collecting pollen only from Echium spp. (Boraginaceae). We aimed to test whether Echium vulgare floral scent plays a major role in the attraction of H. adunca females, and to identify components of E. vulgare scent that may be involved in this specific attraction. We used a combination of behavioral and chemical (GC/GC-MS, PTR-MS) analyses. In order to identify the chemical cues likely to be involved in the specific attraction of H. adunca, we compared the scent of fresh flowers, nectar, pollen, and whole plants of E. vulgare and Anchusa officinalis, another Boraginaceae, which does not attract H. adunca. H. adunca females were attracted to the scent of E. vulgare flowers when offered against a blank or against the scent of A. officinalis flowers. However, H. adunca females were not attracted to the scent of A. officinalis flowers when offered against a blank. The emission spectra of the two plant species differed markedly, as did the emission spectra of various flower components (pollen, nectar and whole flowers) within a species. Pollen presented a low volatile release, but emitted significantly higher amounts of mass 55 (butanal, 1,3-butadiene, or other volatiles of molecular mass 54), and mass 83 (hexanal, hexenols, hexenyl acetate, or other volatiles of molecular mass 82) in E. vulgare than in A. officinalis. Nectar produced a particular emission spectrum with high emission rates of masses 109 and 123. Mass 109 may likely correspond to 1,4-benzoquinone, a volatile specifically measured in E. vulgare in parallel studies to this one. The flower emission spectrum was mainly a combination of the pollen and the nectar scents, although it also contained additional volatile compounds such as those of mass 63 or mass 81. As for terpenes, E. vulgare emitted limonene, longicyclene, junipene, trans-caryophyllene and α-humulene, that were not detected in A. officinalis, and the most emitted monoterpenes were α-pinene, junipene and limonene whereas the most emitted terpenoid by A. officinalis was α-pinene. After identifying these chemical cues, olfactory/behavioural assays with specific volatiles and combinations of volatiles are necessary to understand the chemical interactions of the H. adunca-E. vulgare system. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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The role of frass and cocoon volatiles in host location by monodontomerus aeneus, a parasitoid of megachilid solitary bees

Filella I., Bosch J., Llusiá J., Seco R., Peñuelas J. (2011) The role of frass and cocoon volatiles in host location by monodontomerus aeneus, a parasitoid of megachilid solitary bees. Environmental Entomology. 40: 126-131.
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Doi: 10.1603/EN10165

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Monodontomerus aeneus (Fonscolombe) is a parasitic wasp that oviposits on the prepupae and pupae of Osmia cornuta (Latreille) and other solitary bee species. A two-armed olfactometer was used to test the olfactory attractiveness of O. cornuta prepupae, cocoon, and larval frass to female M. aeneus. Both cocoon and frass attracted the female parasitoids, but frass alone was more attractive than the cocoon and the cocoon with frass was more attractive than frass alone. Female parasitoids were not attracted by the host prepupa. M33 (methanol) was the organic volatile most emitted by cocoons and m61 (acetic acid) was the compound most emitted by frass. However, cocoons showed higher emission for almost all compounds, including m61 (acetic acid). Although acetic acid alone attracted M. aeneus, a complex volatile signal is probably involved in the attraction process because the ratio of acetic acid and acetaldehyde characteristic of the frass was more attractive than other ratios. © 2011 Entomological Society of America.

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Influence of rough handling on Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) nest establishment in commercial orchards.

Stanley CA, Pitts-Singer TL, Bosch J (2011) Influence of rough handling on Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) nest establishment in commercial orchards. Journal of Economic Entomology 104: 750-752.

Pollen limitation in a narrow endemic plant: geographical variation and driving factors.

Fernández J.D., Bosch J., Nieto-Ariza B., Gómez JM. (2012). Pollen limitation in a narrow endemic plant: geographical variation and driving factors. Oecologia 170: 421-431.

The long summer: Pre-wintering temperatures affect metabolic expenditure and winter survival in a solitary bee

Sgolastra F., Kemp W.P., Buckner J.S., Pitts-Singer T.L., Maini S., Bosch J. (2011) The long summer: Pre-wintering temperatures affect metabolic expenditure and winter survival in a solitary bee. Journal of Insect Physiology. 57: 1651-1659.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.08.017

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The impact of climate change on insect populations depends on specific life cycle traits and physiological adaptations. The solitary bee Osmia lignaria winters as a pre-emergent adult, and requires a period of cold temperature for winter diapause completion. It is a univoltine species, and diapause induction does not depend on photoperiod. To understand the potential effects of longer summers on O. lignaria populations, we exposed individuals to three treatments simulating early, mid and late winter arrivals, and measured respiration rates, metabolic expenditure, weight loss, fat body depletion, lipid levels and winter mortality. The early-winter treatment disrupted diapause development, but had no apparent negative effects on fitness. In contrast, late-winter bees had a greater energetic expenditure (1.5-fold), weight (1.4-fold) and lipid (2-fold) loss, greater fat body depletion, and a 19% increase in mortality compared to mid-winter bees. We also monitored adult eclosion and arrival of winter temperatures under natural conditions in four years. We found a positive correlation between mean degree-day accumulation during pre-wintering (a measure of asynchrony between adult eclosion and winter arrival) and yearly winter mortality. Individually, bees experiencing greater degree-day accumulations exhibited reduced post-winter longevity. Timing of adult eclosion in O. lignaria is dependent on the duration of the prepupal period, which occurs in mid-summer, is also diapause-mediated, and is longer in populations from southerly latitudes. In a global warming scenario, we expect long summer diapause phenotypes to replace short summer diapause phenotypes, effectively maintaining short pre-wintering periods in spite of delayed winter arrivals. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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