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Drastic historic shifts in bumble-bee community composition in Sweden

Bommarco, Riccardo; Lundin, Ola; Smith, Henrik LU and Rundlof, Maj (2012) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 279(1727). p.309-315
Abstract
The species richness of flower-visiting insects has declined in past decades, raising concerns that the ecosystem service they provide by pollinating crops and wild plants is threatened. The relative commonness of different species with shared ecological traits can play a pervasive role in determining ecosystem functioning, but information on changes in abundances of pollinators over time is lacking. We gathered data on relative abundances of bumble-bee species in Swedish red clover fields during three periods in the last 70 years (1940s, 1960s and present), and on clover seed yields since 1921. We found drastic decreases in bumble-bee community evenness, with potential consequences for level and stability of red clover seed yield. The... (More)
The species richness of flower-visiting insects has declined in past decades, raising concerns that the ecosystem service they provide by pollinating crops and wild plants is threatened. The relative commonness of different species with shared ecological traits can play a pervasive role in determining ecosystem functioning, but information on changes in abundances of pollinators over time is lacking. We gathered data on relative abundances of bumble-bee species in Swedish red clover fields during three periods in the last 70 years (1940s, 1960s and present), and on clover seed yields since 1921. We found drastic decreases in bumble-bee community evenness, with potential consequences for level and stability of red clover seed yield. The relative abundances of two short-tongued bumble-bees have increased from 40 per cent in the 1940s to entirely dominate present communities with 89 per cent. Average seed yield declined in recent years and variation in yield doubled, suggesting that the current dependence on few species for pollination has been especially detrimental to stability in seed yield. Our results suggest a need to develop management schemes that promote not only species-rich but also more evenly composed communities of service-providing organisms. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bombus spp., ecosystem service, pollination, Trifolium pratense, red, clover
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
279
issue
1727
pages
309 - 315
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000298349300013
  • scopus:80053157699
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2011.0647
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
de74a3e1-c3f7-4721-8e57-93de6e438a02 (old id 2333711)
date added to LUP
2012-02-02 13:49:34
date last changed
2017-08-27 04:44:15
@article{de74a3e1-c3f7-4721-8e57-93de6e438a02,
  abstract     = {The species richness of flower-visiting insects has declined in past decades, raising concerns that the ecosystem service they provide by pollinating crops and wild plants is threatened. The relative commonness of different species with shared ecological traits can play a pervasive role in determining ecosystem functioning, but information on changes in abundances of pollinators over time is lacking. We gathered data on relative abundances of bumble-bee species in Swedish red clover fields during three periods in the last 70 years (1940s, 1960s and present), and on clover seed yields since 1921. We found drastic decreases in bumble-bee community evenness, with potential consequences for level and stability of red clover seed yield. The relative abundances of two short-tongued bumble-bees have increased from 40 per cent in the 1940s to entirely dominate present communities with 89 per cent. Average seed yield declined in recent years and variation in yield doubled, suggesting that the current dependence on few species for pollination has been especially detrimental to stability in seed yield. Our results suggest a need to develop management schemes that promote not only species-rich but also more evenly composed communities of service-providing organisms.},
  author       = {Bommarco, Riccardo and Lundin, Ola and Smith, Henrik and Rundlof, Maj},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  keyword      = {Bombus spp.,ecosystem service,pollination,Trifolium pratense,red,clover},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1727},
  pages        = {309--315},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Drastic historic shifts in bumble-bee community composition in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.0647},
  volume       = {279},
  year         = {2012},
}