Bees use anthropogenic habitats despite strong natural habitat preferences (English)

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in Diversity and Distributions ; 25 , 6 ; 924-935
Diversity and Distributions
; 2019
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Habitat loss and alteration are widely considered one of the main drivers of current pollinator diversity loss. Yet little is known about habitat importance and preferences for major groups of pollinators, although this information is crucial to anticipate and mitigate the current decline of their populations. We aim to rank and assess the importance of different habitats for bees, to determine the preference for and avoidance of particular habitat types by different bees and to quantify the diversity of bees within and among habitats.

North‐eastern USA.

The sampling was done over 15 years (2001–2015).


We used an unprecedented extensive dataset of >15,000 bee specimens, comprising more than 400 species collected across north‐east USA. We extracted habitat information from the sample points and used network analyses, null models comparisons and beta‐diversity analysis to assess habitat importance, habitat preference, use and diversity.

We found that natural habitats sustain higher bee diversity and a different set of species than agricultural and urban areas. Although many bee species used human‐altered habitats, most species exhibited strong preferences for forested habitats and only a few preferred altered habitats over more natural habitats. In contrast to previous studies, landscape composition only had moderate buffer effects on diversity loss. The loss of biodiversity in human‐altered environments could have been higher but it was partially compensated by the presence of human commensals and exotic species.

Although human‐altered environments may harbour a substantial number of species, our work suggests that preserving natural areas is still essential to guarantee the conservation of bee biodiversity.

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Table of contents – Volume 25, Issue 6

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Issue Information
| 2019
Global raptor research and conservation priorities: Tropical raptors fall prey to knowledge gaps
Buechley, Evan R. / Santangeli, Andrea / Girardello, Marco / Neate‐Clegg, Montague H.C. / Oleyar, Dave / McClure, Christopher J.W. / Şekercioğlu, Çagan H. | 2019
A century of decline: Loss of genetic diversity in a southern African lion‐conservation stronghold
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Spatiotemporal distribution dynamics of elephants in response to density, rainfall, rivers and fire in Kruger National Park, South Africa
MacFadyen, Sandra / Hui, Cang / Verburg, Peter H. / Van Teeffelen, Astrid J. A. | 2019
The rise of an apex predator following deglaciation
Williams, Perry J. / Hooten, Mevin B. / Esslinger, George G. / Womble, Jamie N. / Bodkin, James L. / Bower, Michael R. | 2019
Predicting fisheries bycatch: A case study and field test for pilot whales in a pelagic longline fishery
Thorne, Lesley H. / Baird, Robin W. / Webster, Daniel L. / Stepanuk, Julia E. / Read, Andrew J. | 2019
Bees use anthropogenic habitats despite strong natural habitat preferences
Collado, Miguel Á. / Sol, Daniel / Bartomeus, Ignasi | 2019
Distribution trends of European dragonflies under climate change
Termaat, Tim / van Strien, Arco J. / van Grunsven, Roy H. A. / De Knijf, Geert / Bjelke, Ulf / Burbach, Klaus / Conze, Klaus‐Jürgen / Goffart, Philippe / Hepper, David / Kalkman, Vincent J. et al. | 2019
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Lenda, Magdalena / Skórka, Piotr / Knops, Johannes / Żmihorski, Michał / Gaj, Renata / Moroń, Dawid / Woyciechowski, Michał / Tryjanowski, Piotr | 2019
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De Smedt, Pallieter / Baeten, Lander / Proesmans, Willem / Van de Poel, Sam / Van Keer, Johan / Giffard, Brice / Martin, Ludmilla / Vanhulle, Rieneke / Brunet, Jörg / Cousins, Sara A.O. et al. | 2019
Bird collisions with power lines: Prioritizing species and areas by estimating potential population‐level impacts
D’Amico, Marcello / Martins, Ricardo C. / Álvarez‐Martínez, Jose M. / Porto, Miguel / Barrientos, Rafael / Moreira, Francisco | 2019
Diversity patterns of native and exotic fish species suggest homogenization processes, but partly fail to highlight extinction threats
Gavioli, Anna / Milardi, Marco / Castaldelli, Giuseppe / Fano, Elisa Anna / Soininen, Janne | 2019
Alien reptiles on Mediterranean Islands: A model for invasion biogeography
Silva‐Rocha, Iolanda Raquel / Salvi, Daniele / Carretero, Miguel A. / Ficetola, Gentile Francesco | 2019
Front Cover
Thorne, Lesley H. / Baird, Robin W. / Webster, Daniel L. / Stepanuk, Julia E. / Read, Andrew J. | 2019

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