Anthidium manicatum, an invasive bee, excludes a native bumble bee, Bombus impatiens, from floral resources
Anthidium manicatum is an invasive pollinator reaching widespread distribution in North America. Male A. manicatum aggressively defend floral territories, attacking heterospecific pollinators. Female A. manicatum are generalists, visiting many of the same plants as native pollinators. Because of A. manicatum’s rapid range expansion, the territorial behavior of males, and the potential for female A. manicatum to be significant resource competitors, invasive A. manicatum have been prioritized as a species of interest for impact assessment. But despite concerns, there have been no empirical studies investigating the impact of A. manicatum on North American pollinators. Therefore, across a two-year study, we monitored foraging behavior and fitness of the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) in response to A. manicatum presence. We found that B. impatiens avoided foraging near A. manicatum in both years; but despite this resource exclusion, we found no evidence of fitness consequences for B. impatiens. These results suggest A. manicatum pose as significant resource competitors, but that B. impatiens are likely able to compensate for this resource loss by finding available resources elsewhere.
KeywordsExotic species Resource competition Interspecific competition Foraging behavior Pollination
We thank Sean Boyden, Kevin Lindell, Luke O’Connor, and Luca Guadagno for their help with field site maintenance and data collection.
K.K.G. conceived of the experiment and methods, did data collection, data analysis and manuscript preparation. K.E. and I.O. assisted with data collection. P.S. advised on methods, data interpretation and edited the manuscript.
This project was funded through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (2015: NSF DBI 1263030, 2016: NSF DBI 1560380; Awarded to PS), Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research (ID: G20141015702880; Awarded to KG), Tufts Graduate Student Research Competition (2014 & 2016; Awarded to KG); Tufts Summer Scholars Program (Awarded to IO), and generous donations from project backers through Experiment.com ( https://doi.org/10.18258/5029; Awarded to KG).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
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