Foraging preferences of leafcutter bees in three contrasting geographical zones

Palatty Allesh Sinu, Judith L Bronstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Leafcutter bees use plants as pollen and nectar sources, but also cut leaf discs and use them to line their nests. Which plant species they choose as nesting material and why they do so have remained obscure. We asked the following: (1) How are the plant species used by leafcutter bees distributed phylogenetically? (2) Does plant choice differ across geographical regions, and if so, in what ways? (3) Are the leaf plant species natives or exotics? (4) What plant and leaf traits predict selection of plant species by leafcutter bees? And (5) Does the abundance of individuals per species in the habitat influence leafcutter bees' plant preferences? Location: Tropical South Asia, temperate eastern Canada and US Sonoran Desert Methods: We mapped taxa known to be used by leafcutter bees both from our own study and published literature onto the most recent angiosperm phylogeny. To determine what plant and leaf traits predict leaf selection, we monitored 6,120 individuals of 214 native and exotic plant species planted in a 3-sq. km. arboretum in Arizona and recorded leaf damage inflicted by bees. Results: Megachile showed a strong preference for species in the rosid clade, particularly the phylogenetic cluster of Fabales, Fagales and Rosales. Thirty-two to forty-five percentage of the leaf plant species were exotic to a given region. Membership in the rosid clade and Fabaceae family predicted plant preference, whereas the plant species' local abundance and geographical origin did not. Leaf water content, morphotype and the presence of latex were important factors influencing plant choice, whereas leaf shape and size did not. Main conclusion: These patterns point to plant groups whose availability should be monitored to assure persistence of leafcutter bees. Their preference for specific globally distributed plant clades, yet ability to readily adopt certain exotic plant species as nest resources, likely augments their ability to persist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDiversity and Distributions
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Megachilidae
bee
foraging
leaves
nest
plant species
geographical region
nectar
morphotype
angiosperm
Fagales
phylogeny
Fabales
Rosales
pollen
persistence
nests
Megachile
desert
water content

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial
  • Biogeography
  • Distribution
  • Diversity
  • Evolution
  • Herbivory
  • Leafcutter bee
  • Megachile
  • Megachilidae
  • Pollinator
  • Urban ecosystem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Foraging preferences of leafcutter bees in three contrasting geographical zones. / Sinu, Palatty Allesh; Bronstein, Judith L.

In: Diversity and Distributions, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c422f4dbc4a045ed8494101c7b49ccd1,
title = "Foraging preferences of leafcutter bees in three contrasting geographical zones",
abstract = "Aim: Leafcutter bees use plants as pollen and nectar sources, but also cut leaf discs and use them to line their nests. Which plant species they choose as nesting material and why they do so have remained obscure. We asked the following: (1) How are the plant species used by leafcutter bees distributed phylogenetically? (2) Does plant choice differ across geographical regions, and if so, in what ways? (3) Are the leaf plant species natives or exotics? (4) What plant and leaf traits predict selection of plant species by leafcutter bees? And (5) Does the abundance of individuals per species in the habitat influence leafcutter bees' plant preferences? Location: Tropical South Asia, temperate eastern Canada and US Sonoran Desert Methods: We mapped taxa known to be used by leafcutter bees both from our own study and published literature onto the most recent angiosperm phylogeny. To determine what plant and leaf traits predict leaf selection, we monitored 6,120 individuals of 214 native and exotic plant species planted in a 3-sq. km. arboretum in Arizona and recorded leaf damage inflicted by bees. Results: Megachile showed a strong preference for species in the rosid clade, particularly the phylogenetic cluster of Fabales, Fagales and Rosales. Thirty-two to forty-five percentage of the leaf plant species were exotic to a given region. Membership in the rosid clade and Fabaceae family predicted plant preference, whereas the plant species' local abundance and geographical origin did not. Leaf water content, morphotype and the presence of latex were important factors influencing plant choice, whereas leaf shape and size did not. Main conclusion: These patterns point to plant groups whose availability should be monitored to assure persistence of leafcutter bees. Their preference for specific globally distributed plant clades, yet ability to readily adopt certain exotic plant species as nest resources, likely augments their ability to persist.",
keywords = "Antimicrobial, Biogeography, Distribution, Diversity, Evolution, Herbivory, Leafcutter bee, Megachile, Megachilidae, Pollinator, Urban ecosystem",
author = "Sinu, {Palatty Allesh} and Bronstein, {Judith L}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/ddi.12709",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Diversity and Distributions",
issn = "1366-9516",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Foraging preferences of leafcutter bees in three contrasting geographical zones

AU - Sinu, Palatty Allesh

AU - Bronstein, Judith L

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Aim: Leafcutter bees use plants as pollen and nectar sources, but also cut leaf discs and use them to line their nests. Which plant species they choose as nesting material and why they do so have remained obscure. We asked the following: (1) How are the plant species used by leafcutter bees distributed phylogenetically? (2) Does plant choice differ across geographical regions, and if so, in what ways? (3) Are the leaf plant species natives or exotics? (4) What plant and leaf traits predict selection of plant species by leafcutter bees? And (5) Does the abundance of individuals per species in the habitat influence leafcutter bees' plant preferences? Location: Tropical South Asia, temperate eastern Canada and US Sonoran Desert Methods: We mapped taxa known to be used by leafcutter bees both from our own study and published literature onto the most recent angiosperm phylogeny. To determine what plant and leaf traits predict leaf selection, we monitored 6,120 individuals of 214 native and exotic plant species planted in a 3-sq. km. arboretum in Arizona and recorded leaf damage inflicted by bees. Results: Megachile showed a strong preference for species in the rosid clade, particularly the phylogenetic cluster of Fabales, Fagales and Rosales. Thirty-two to forty-five percentage of the leaf plant species were exotic to a given region. Membership in the rosid clade and Fabaceae family predicted plant preference, whereas the plant species' local abundance and geographical origin did not. Leaf water content, morphotype and the presence of latex were important factors influencing plant choice, whereas leaf shape and size did not. Main conclusion: These patterns point to plant groups whose availability should be monitored to assure persistence of leafcutter bees. Their preference for specific globally distributed plant clades, yet ability to readily adopt certain exotic plant species as nest resources, likely augments their ability to persist.

AB - Aim: Leafcutter bees use plants as pollen and nectar sources, but also cut leaf discs and use them to line their nests. Which plant species they choose as nesting material and why they do so have remained obscure. We asked the following: (1) How are the plant species used by leafcutter bees distributed phylogenetically? (2) Does plant choice differ across geographical regions, and if so, in what ways? (3) Are the leaf plant species natives or exotics? (4) What plant and leaf traits predict selection of plant species by leafcutter bees? And (5) Does the abundance of individuals per species in the habitat influence leafcutter bees' plant preferences? Location: Tropical South Asia, temperate eastern Canada and US Sonoran Desert Methods: We mapped taxa known to be used by leafcutter bees both from our own study and published literature onto the most recent angiosperm phylogeny. To determine what plant and leaf traits predict leaf selection, we monitored 6,120 individuals of 214 native and exotic plant species planted in a 3-sq. km. arboretum in Arizona and recorded leaf damage inflicted by bees. Results: Megachile showed a strong preference for species in the rosid clade, particularly the phylogenetic cluster of Fabales, Fagales and Rosales. Thirty-two to forty-five percentage of the leaf plant species were exotic to a given region. Membership in the rosid clade and Fabaceae family predicted plant preference, whereas the plant species' local abundance and geographical origin did not. Leaf water content, morphotype and the presence of latex were important factors influencing plant choice, whereas leaf shape and size did not. Main conclusion: These patterns point to plant groups whose availability should be monitored to assure persistence of leafcutter bees. Their preference for specific globally distributed plant clades, yet ability to readily adopt certain exotic plant species as nest resources, likely augments their ability to persist.

KW - Antimicrobial

KW - Biogeography

KW - Distribution

KW - Diversity

KW - Evolution

KW - Herbivory

KW - Leafcutter bee

KW - Megachile

KW - Megachilidae

KW - Pollinator

KW - Urban ecosystem

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85040861730&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85040861730&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/ddi.12709

DO - 10.1111/ddi.12709

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85040861730

JO - Diversity and Distributions

JF - Diversity and Distributions

SN - 1366-9516

ER -