Impact of inundation regime on wild bee assemblages and associated bee–flower networks
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Wild bee assemblages on flood-prone meadows were compared with those on rarely inundated sites along the river Danube in easternmost Lower Austria. We sampled flower-visiting bees on 32 meadows from April to August 2016. Although we recorded more bee individuals on rarely inundated meadows, total bee species richness was higher on regularly flooded meadows and we observed a stronger differentiation diversity of bees among annually flooded meadows. Three network metrics derived from a bipartite plant–bee interaction matrix were unaffected by flooding regime. We conclude that extreme floods, which sporadically affect the investigated habitats, may have a devastating effect on wild bee populations, but communities quickly recover. This resilience surely depends on recolonization from the surrounding landscape, which emphasizes the need to consider community dynamics in highly variable floodplain areas not only locally, but on a landscape scale.
Keywordswild bees community recovery species richness floodplain ecology bipartite networks
Ulrich Neumüller conceived the survey design, performed field sampling, and undertook the taxonomic and statistical data evaluation. Konrad Fiedler participated in developing the survey design and statistical data evaluation and contributed to writing of the manuscript. Bärbel Pachinger contributed to the identification of taxonomically challenging bee specimens and to the final manuscript version.
We thank the University of Vienna and the Donau-Auen National Park for providing financial support for the realization this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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