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Apidologie

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 347–354 | Cite as

Diversity and conservation status of native Australian bees

  • Michael Batley
  • Katja Hogendoorn
Review Article

Abstract

Australia’s idiosyncratic bee fauna is characterised by a combination of numerous endemic taxa and by the complete absence of some families. Many species, and in particular several oligolectic species, remain undescribed and more than half the named taxa are in need of revision. The main threats to the native bee fauna include removal of nesting and foraging opportunities through land clearing and agriculture, the spread of exotic plant species and the consequences of climate change. Early steps to conserve the native bee fauna include commercial applications, the raising of public awareness and preservation of natural habitat. However, these actions are severely hampered by a lack of both identification keys and taxonomic expertise. Considerable investment in taxonomic research is needed to improve this state of affairs.

native bees Australia conservation taxonomy Apoidea 

Diversité et statut de conservation des abeilles indigènes australiennes

Apoidea abeille indigène Australie protection taxonomie 

Diversität und Schutzstatus der einheimischen Bienen Australiens

Zusammenfassung

Australien besitzt eine einzigartige Bienenfauna, die sich durch einen hohen Anteil an Arten der Familie Colletidae und das Fehlen von Andrenidae und Mellitidae auszeichnet. Aufgrund einer geringen Anzahl an Kolonisierungsereignissen sind viele Linien endemisch. Schätzungsweise 25 % der Arten sind noch unbeschrieben und 50 % der Taxa bedürfen einer Revision. Insbesondere viele oligolektische Arten könnten übersehen worden und aufgrund fehlender Schutzmassnahmen bedroht sein. Des weiteren sind für insgesamt 57 % der Arten keine Bestimmungsschlüssel verfügbar. Dies stellt ein schwerwiegendes Hindernis für Untersuchungen der einheimischen Bienen durch Laien oder Nichtextperten dar. Informationen zum Blütenbesuch und zum Nistverhalten gibt es nur für einige wenige Arten.

Die vielfachen Bedrohungen der einheimischen Bienenfauna beinhaltet die Entfernung von Nistgelegenheiten und Futtersammelstellen, die Ausbreitung eingeführter exotischer Pflanzenarten und Klimaveränderungen. Grossflächige Beseitigungen der natürlichen Vegetation für landwirtschaftliche Zwecke sind zwar im Rückgang, die Veränderungen in der Zusammensetzung der Flora sind jedoch ein Grund zur Sorge. Diese Veränderungen rühren von der Beweidung durch Vieh und andere eingeführte Säugetiere her, sowie durch den Ersatz einheimischer Pflanzen durch eingeführte Unkräuter. Letztere profitieren in ihrer Bestäbung nicht zuletzt von ausgewilderten oder beimkerten Honigbienenvölkern. Die direkte Konkurrenz zwischen einheimischen Bienen und Honigbienen ist vermutlich variabel und abhängig von den jeweils verfügbaren Pflanzen als Nahrungsquellen.

Klimaveränderungen führen zu vermehrten Überschwemmungen und Buschfeuern und haben als langfristige Konsequenz unvorhersehbare Veränderungen in der floralen Abundanz und Phänologie zur Folge. All diese Faktoren beeinflussen mit grosser Wahrscheinlichkeit die Verteilung und Häufigkeit der einheimischen Bienen. Einleitende Schritte zum Schutz der einheimischen Bienenfauna könnten ihre Nutzung als Bestäuber von Nutzpflanzen sein, sowie die Anhebung des öffentlichen Bewusstseins über den Schutz natürlicher Habitate. Der allgemeine Mangel an Kenntnissen über die Taxonomie und das Fehlen von Bestimmungsschlüsseln sind hierin jedoch schwerwiegende Hinderungsgründe. Unsere Fähigkeit des Monitoring und der Beurteilung des Schutzstatus der einheimischen Bienen Australiens erfordert die Ausbildung und die Einstellung von Bienentaxonomen.

einheimische Bienen Australien Schutzstatus Taxonomie 

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Copyright information

© Springer S+B Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian MuseumSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental and Life SciencesMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia
  3. 3.School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of AdelaideAustralia

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