Skip to main content

Landscape influences genetic diversity but does not limit gene flow in a Neotropical pollinator


Tropical landscapes are rapidly changing due to deforestation and agricultural expansion, entailing the loss and fragmentation of natural habitats. Understanding how these changes affect the genetic diversity and gene flow in key native pollinators is of great importance to assure their survival and provision of pollination services. In this context, we studied how landscape features influence genetic diversity and gene flow in one of the most widespread species of stingless bees in the Neotropical region, Tetragonisca angustula. We evaluated bees from 46 nests sampled across forested, agricultural and urban landscapes within the Atlantic Forest, genotyped at 745 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We found that forest cover negatively influenced the heterozygosity at a 500-m scale, although inbreeding and gene flow were not influenced by landscape features. Gene flow was explained mainly by geographic distance, indicating that T. angustula can disperse across heterogeneous and human-altered landscapes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.

Code availability

Not applicable.


Download references


We are thankful to Roberto Gaioski Jr. and Rafael S. C. Alves for the assistance during fieldwork, Eduardo A. B. Almeida (USP) for bee identification, Carlos Batista and Aline Moraes for help in the laboratory, and José B. Pinheiro (USP) and Anete P. Souza (UNICAMP) for allowing us to use their laboratory facilities. We are also very grateful to the private property owners for allowing us to sample bees on their land. Work was carried out under permit number 48402/1 (SISBIO) from the Brazilian Ministry of Environment.


This study was supported by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil (CAPES, Finance Code 001 to MMB, and grant number 88887.156652/2017–00 to CCS), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - FAPESP (processes #2013/50421-2; #2020/01779-5; #2021/08534-0; #2021/10195-0), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development - CNPq (processes #442147/2020-1; #402765/2021-4; #313016/2021-6), and Associação Brasileira de Estudo das Abelhas (A.B.E.L.H.A.) to DAA.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Conceptualization: MMB, MCR, DAA; Investigation & Data curation: MMB; Formal analysis: MMB, RJ, CSC, ECML, AAP; Methodology: MMB, MCR, ASC; Funding acquisition: MCR, DAA; Resources: MIZ, ASC, VLIF; Supervision: DAA; Writing—original draft: MMB, DAA; Review & editing: MMB, RJ, CSC, ECML, AAP, MIZ, ASC, MCR, VLIF, DAA.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marcela de Matos Barbosa.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The authors declare that all ethical issues have been appropriately dealt with. All authors have given their consent to be part of this publication.

Consent for publication

All authors have given their consent to publish this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Manuscript editor:  Klaus Hartfelder

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOCX 234 KB)

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de Matos Barbosa, M., Jaffé, R., Carvalho, C.S. et al. Landscape influences genetic diversity but does not limit gene flow in a Neotropical pollinator. Apidologie 53, 48 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • landscape genetics
  • SNPs
  • rainforest
  • stingless bees
  • Tetragonisca angustula