Navigation Links
Large-scale study reveals major decline in bumble bees in the US
Date:1/4/2011

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The first in-depth national study of wild bees in the U.S. has uncovered major losses in the relative abundance of several bumble bee species and declines in their geographic range since record-keeping began in the late 1800s.

The researchers report that declining bumble bee populations have lower genetic diversity than bumble bee species with healthy populations and are more likely to be infected with Nosema bombi, an intracellular parasite known to afflict some species of bumble bees in Europe.

The new study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We have 50 species of bumble bees in North America. We've studied eight of them and four of these are significantly in trouble," said University of Illinois entomology professor Sydney Cameron, who led the study. "They could potentially recover; some of them might. But we only studied eight. This could be the tip of the iceberg," she said.

The three-year study analyzed the geographic distribution and genetic diversity of eight species of bumble bees in the U.S., relying on historical records and repeated surveys of about 400 sites. The researchers compiled a database of more than 73,000 museum records and compared them with current sampling based on intensive national surveys of more than 16,000 specimens.

The national analysis found that the relative abundances of four of the eight species analyzed have declined by as much as 96 percent and that their surveyed geographic ranges have shrunk by 23 to 87 percent. Some of these contractions have occurred in the last two decades.

Researchers have many hypotheses about what is causing the declines, but none have been proven, Cameron said. Climate change appears to play a role in the declines in some bumble bee species in Europe, she said. Habitat loss may also contribute to the loss of some specialist species, she said. Low genetic diversity and high infection rates with the parasite pathogen are also prime suspects.

"Whether it's one of these or all of the above, we need to be aware of these declines," Cameron said. "It may be that the role that these four species play in pollinating plants could be taken up by other species of bumble bees. But if additional species begin to fall out due to things we're not aware of, we could be in trouble."


'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Large-scale analysis identifies new genetic alterations associated with height
2. BIO-key® Awarded Additional Large-Scale Fingerprint Biometric Contract
3. Powerful genome barcoding system reveals large-scale variation in human DNA
4. WCC Webinar on De-Duplication in Large-Scale Identity Systems
5. Sweet corn study provides large-scale picture of better fields
6. New theory gives more precise estimates of large-scale biodiversity
7. Success for first outdoor, large-scale algae-to-biofuel research project in Nevada
8. Researchers solve piece of large-scale gene silencing mystery
9. Pollution at home lurks unrecognized, instead attributed to large-scale environmental disasters
10. Complete Genomics launches, becomes worlds first large-scale human genome sequencing company
11. Lack of large-scale experiments slows progress of environmental restoration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Large-scale study reveals major decline in bumble bees in the US
(Date:3/23/2017)... India , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture ... Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions ... serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of ... director of public safety business development. Mr. ... enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation ... most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... March 13, 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face Matching ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each ... to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... It is well established ... however, the broad application of this cellular target engagement concept to drug discovery ... Cell-based thermal stabilization assays are valuable methods for particular applications, but they can ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The impressively ... focus of researchers, engineers, product developers, and industry suppliers gathered last week for ... SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics , the event drew ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... TX; Ultrecht, Netherlands (PRWEB) , ... April 20, ... ... Qafis Biometrics Technology today announced their strategic partnership to offer a full ... digital identity authentication, a comprehensive suite of biometric products and the ground-breaking proactive ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... /PRNewswire/ - Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) (OTCQX: PFSCF) ("Prometic" ... Liver Congress ("ILC") 2017 of the European Association for the ... on the positive effects of PBI-4050 on reduction of ... metabolic syndrome. ... Dr. Lyne Gagnon, Vice-President of R&D Pre-clinical of Prometic "This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: