Bumblebee colonies produce larger foragers in complex landscapes
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Basic and Applied Ecology
The negative effect of agricultural intensification on bumblebee populations is thought to partly be caused by loss of food plants, for example because of increased field size and concomitant loss of non-crop field borders and their nectar and pollen plants. Earlier studies have focused on how loss of foraging resources affects colony growth and thereby abundance of workers and sexual reproduction. By comparing bumblebees in agricultural landscapes of different complexity in Southern Sweden, we here demonstrate that also the adult size of bumblebee foragers is significantly related to the availability of foraging resources. This effect was independent of both species identity and foraging habitat type. This suggests a shortage of flower resources in landscapes of lower complexity, which may also affect the reproductive success of colonies negatively.
- Biology and Life Sciences
- Landscape ecology
- Forager size
- Bombus spp.
- ISSN: 1439-1791