Niche differentiation of a cryptic bumblebee complex in the Western Isles of Scotland

Waters, Joe, Darvill, Ben, Lye, Gillian C and Goulson, Dave (2011) Niche differentiation of a cryptic bumblebee complex in the Western Isles of Scotland. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 4 (1). pp. 46-52. ISSN 1752-458X

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Abstract

1. It has recently become apparent that there is cryptic diversity in bumblebees, notably in the Bombus lucorum complex which appears to contain three distinct taxa (B. lucorum, B. magnus, and B. cryptarum). We know almost nothing about how these species differ in their ecology or distribution.2. Here, we use RFLP markers to identify workers of the B. lucorum complex from the west of Scotland, and we map the distributions, forage use and habitat associations of the three taxa. 3. In western Scotland, B. cryptarum was found to be the most abundant of the three related taxa, but all three occurred in almost all sample sites. In combination with similar work from Ireland, we are able to conclude that: B. cryptarum is a polylectic species associated with uplands and cool climates; B. lucorum appears to be a lowland bee particularly associated with urban areas and islands close to the mainland in Scotland, and feeding largely on Erica cinerea and Apiaceae; B. magnus appears to be a heathland bee strongly associated with feeding on Calluna vulgaris.4. Our study demonstrates that a combination of molecular and ecological approaches can reveal aspects of the ecology of cryptic species. © 2010 The Authors. Insect Conservation and Diversity © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2014 09:41
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2014 09:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/51189
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