A review of methods for the study of bumble bee movement
Understanding animal movement is critical for conservation planning, habitat management, and ecological study. However, our understanding is often limited by methodological constraints. These limitations can be especially problematic in the study of ecologically and economically important pollinators like bumble bees, where several aspects of their biology limit the feasibility of landscape-scale studies. We review the methods available for the study of bumble bee movement ecology, discussing common limitations and tradeoffs among several frequent data sources. We provide recommendations on appropriate use for different life stages and castes, emphasizing where recent methodological advances can help reveal key components of understudied parts of the bumble bee life cycle such as queen movement and dispersal. We emphasize that there is no one correct method and encourage researchers planning studies to carefully consider the data requirements to best address questions of interest.
Keywordsforaging dispersal mark-recapture radio-tracking sibship assignment
We thank H. Woodard, C. Stuligross, E. E. Crone, and N. Pope for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. JMM was supported by NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award 1049702. NMW and JMM were supported by NSF DEB 1354022.
JMM and NMW conceived and developed this review; JMM wrote the initial draft, and NMW participated in the revisions. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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