Main content area

Conservation ecology of bees: populations, species and communities

Murray, Tomás E., Kuhlmann, Michael, Potts, Simon G.
Apidologie 2009 v.40 no.3 pp. 211-236
Apoidea, environmental impact, extinction, global change, habitats, insects, landscapes, population size, temporal variation
Recent concerns regarding the decline of plant and pollinator species, and the impact on ecosystem functioning, has focused attention on the local and global threats to bee diversity. As evidence for bee declines is now accumulating from over broad taxonomic and geographic scales, we review the role of ecology in bee conservation at the levels of species, populations and communities. Bee populations and communities are typified by considerable spatiotemporal variation; whereby autecological traits, population size and growth rate, and plant-pollinator network architecture all play a role in their vulnerability to extinction. As contemporary insect conservation management is broadly based on species- and habitattargeted approaches, ecological data will be central to integrating management strategies into a broader, landscape scale of dynamic, interconnected habitats capable of delivering bee conservation in the context of global environmental change.