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Local and landscape habitat influences on bee diversity in agricultural landscapes in Anolaima, Colombia

  • Marcela Cely-SantosEmail author
  • Stacy M. Philpott
ORIGINAL PAPER
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Abstract

Agricultural intensification drives biodiversity loss and is associated with bee declines. Bees are highly sensitive to environmental change, and while their diversity declines in simplified habitats distant from undisturbed areas, bees respond to agricultural practices and habitat configuration at different scales. Mountainous tropical agroecosystems are highly heterogeneous at local and landscape scales, and the responses of bee communities to environmental change in these regions are still underexplored. We examined the local and landscape habitat factors influencing bee abundance and diversity, and changes in bee generic and tribe composition in Anolaima, Colombia. We surveyed bees, measured local habitat features such as flower abundance, tree diversity, ground cover and vegetation structure, and evaluated land cover types and landscape characteristics in seventeen farms. We found that elevation, vertical structure of the vegetation and landscape structure influenced bee community structure. While local factors predicted the response of most individual bee groups, landscape factors influenced the abundance of Apis and Trigona, two genera with disproportionately high abundances across study sites. We also found that human constructions serve as refuges for several bee genera. Our paper suggests a process of biotic homogenization with the loss of bee diversity and concurrent spread of Apis and Trigona in landscapes dominated by pastures, unshaded crops or eroded soils. We also highlight the high sensitivity of native bees to habitat configuration and disturbance, and the importance of traditional farming systems for the conservation of bee communities in mountainous tropical agroecosystems.

Keywords

Biotic homogenization Land-use change Tropical agroecosystems Community composition Hymenoptera 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank N. Palacios, Y. Pulido, L. Casallas, R. Pinto and S. Currea for assistance with data collection; J. Maldonado, N. Florez, J. Gomez, H. Triana for assistance in bee identification, and R. Ospina for his collaboration at LABUN. We thank (A) Martinez for his assistance with GIS analyses, and C. Cordoba for her insights on the study region. We thank (B) Martinez, Y. Pulido, A. Bermudez, M. Tolosa, M. Arévalo, V. Estevez, L. García, J. Silva, D. Camelo, F. Cristancho, G. Piñeres, F. López, D. Diaz, N. Osorio, A. Cediel, L. Pulido and (C) Murcia for providing access to study sites and information about agricultural management. We thank the JIC reviewer for constructive comments to improve this manuscript. Funding for the research was provided by a Fulbright-Colciencias Scholarship, a Rufford Conservation grant, a Heller Agroecology Grant and Environmental Studies Departmental research grant from the U. of California, Santa Cruz, a Social Sciences Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship, and equipment donation by Idea Wild to M. Cely.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10841_2018_122_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 20 KB)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 21 KB)
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Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 17 KB)
10841_2018_122_MOESM5_ESM.tif (3 mb)
Figure S1. Rank abundance of bee genera registered across 17 farms in Anolaima, Colombia. Supplementary material 5 (TIF 3044 KB)
10841_2018_122_MOESM6_ESM.tif (205 kb)
Figure S2. Diversity profiles of bees captured across our study sites. Order q=0 (0D) is equal to species richness, giving more weight to rare species; q=1 (1D) is the equivalent of the exponential of Shannon index and the weight of each species is based on its relative abundance. When q=2 (2D) abundant species have a higher weight in the community and the value accounts for the inverse of Simpson index.. Supplementary material 6 (TIF 204 KB)

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

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