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Wing wear, aerodynamics and flight energetics in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): an experimental study

Hedenström, Anders LU ; Ellington, C P and Wolf, T J (2001) In Functional Ecology 15(4). p.417-422
Abstract
I. Previous work has shown that wing wear increases mortality rate in bumblebees. Two proximate explanations have been suggested to account for this: increased energy flight costs and increased predation risk due to reduced manoeuvrability. 2. Wing wear was mimicked by experimentally clipping the forewing distal trailing edge, causing a 10% wing area reduction. Experimental and sham control bumblebees were induced to hover in a flight respirometry chamber for measuring metabolic rate of hovering. Simultaneous video and sound recordings were taken for wingbeat kinematic data required for an aerodynamic analysis. 3. In the experimental group with reduced wing area we measured increased wingbeat frequency, lift coefficient and induced power,... (More)
I. Previous work has shown that wing wear increases mortality rate in bumblebees. Two proximate explanations have been suggested to account for this: increased energy flight costs and increased predation risk due to reduced manoeuvrability. 2. Wing wear was mimicked by experimentally clipping the forewing distal trailing edge, causing a 10% wing area reduction. Experimental and sham control bumblebees were induced to hover in a flight respirometry chamber for measuring metabolic rate of hovering. Simultaneous video and sound recordings were taken for wingbeat kinematic data required for an aerodynamic analysis. 3. In the experimental group with reduced wing area we measured increased wingbeat frequency, lift coefficient and induced power, but a reduced profile power. The mechanical power output, assuming perfect elastic storage in the flight system, remained largely unchanged after the wing-trimming treatment. 4. Metabolic flight costs (CO2 production rate) did not increase significantly in the reduced wing area group, which is in line with the aerodynamic power output. 5. Our results indicate that an increase of flight cost due to wing wear is not a likely explanation for increased mortality rate in bumblebees. Wing wear may, however, affect escape performance from predators. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Functional Ecology
volume
15
issue
4
pages
417 - 422
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:0034864665
ISSN
1365-2435
DOI
10.1046/j.0269-8463.2001.00531.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d817a2b2-b2ec-4a5b-8561-198c42bbf93b (old id 145731)
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 07:50:12
date last changed
2018-10-03 10:51:43
@article{d817a2b2-b2ec-4a5b-8561-198c42bbf93b,
  abstract     = {I. Previous work has shown that wing wear increases mortality rate in bumblebees. Two proximate explanations have been suggested to account for this: increased energy flight costs and increased predation risk due to reduced manoeuvrability. 2. Wing wear was mimicked by experimentally clipping the forewing distal trailing edge, causing a 10% wing area reduction. Experimental and sham control bumblebees were induced to hover in a flight respirometry chamber for measuring metabolic rate of hovering. Simultaneous video and sound recordings were taken for wingbeat kinematic data required for an aerodynamic analysis. 3. In the experimental group with reduced wing area we measured increased wingbeat frequency, lift coefficient and induced power, but a reduced profile power. The mechanical power output, assuming perfect elastic storage in the flight system, remained largely unchanged after the wing-trimming treatment. 4. Metabolic flight costs (CO2 production rate) did not increase significantly in the reduced wing area group, which is in line with the aerodynamic power output. 5. Our results indicate that an increase of flight cost due to wing wear is not a likely explanation for increased mortality rate in bumblebees. Wing wear may, however, affect escape performance from predators.},
  author       = {Hedenström, Anders and Ellington, C P and Wolf, T J},
  issn         = {1365-2435},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {417--422},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Functional Ecology},
  title        = {Wing wear, aerodynamics and flight energetics in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): an experimental study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0269-8463.2001.00531.x},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2001},
}