Pot-Honey pp 269-282 | Cite as

Effects of Human Disturbance and Habitat Fragmentation on Stingless Bees

  • Virginia Meléndez Ramírez
  • Laura Meneses Calvillo
  • Peter G. Kevan


Human disturbance and habitat fragmentation are the most important causes of diminution of populations of local biota and consequent loss of biodiversity and key species in ecosystems, especially in the tropics. The various processes involved have different effects on the components and structure of affected habitats over time, principally through reduction in extent of original vegetation, division of the remaining vegetation into fragments, and consequent isolation of populations. There are relatively few studies on the effects of disturbance and fragmentation on tropical bee communities. Although these communities comprise many species, stingless bees and honeybees dominate. Disturbance and fragmentation would be expected to have negative effects on bee communities. However, the studies to date indicate contrasting responses by different species to the effects of land use change and habitat fragmentation, due to differences in biology, nesting, flight capacity, and foraging strategy. Given adequate nesting habitat, bees contribute greatly to pollination in cultivated and natural areas. Key species, such as stingless bees, in the tropics nest in cavities in wood or in the ground and require implementation of habitat conservation strategies because of their importance in the pollination of wild and cultivated plants.


Human Disturbance Habitat Fragmentation Forest Fragment Nest Density Floral Resource 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia Meléndez Ramírez
    • 1
  • Laura Meneses Calvillo
    • 1
  • Peter G. Kevan
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Zoología, Campus de Ciencias Biológicas y AgropecuariasUniversidad Autónoma de YucatánMéridaMéxico
  2. 2.Canadian Pollination Initiative, School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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