Sponsler D. B., Requier Fabrice, Kallnik K., Classen A., Maihoff F., Sieger J., Steffan-Dewenter I. (2022). Contrasting patterns of richness, abundance, and turnover in mountain bumble bees and their floral hosts. Ecology, 103 (7), e3712 [15 p.]. ISSN 0012-9658.
Titre du document
Contrasting patterns of richness, abundance, and turnover in mountain bumble bees and their floral hosts
Année de publication
Sponsler D. B., Requier Fabrice, Kallnik K., Classen A., Maihoff F., Sieger J., Steffan-Dewenter I.
103 (7), e3712 [15 p.] ISSN 0012-9658
Environmental gradients generate and maintain biodiversity on Earth. Mountain slopes are among the most pronounced terrestrial environmental gradients, and the elevational structure of species and their interactions can provide unique insight into the processes that govern community assembly and function in mountain ecosystems. We recorded bumble bee-flower interactions over 3 years along a 1400-m elevational gradient in the German Alps. Using nonlinear modeling techniques, we analyzed elevational patterns at the levels of abundance, species richness, species beta-diversity, and interaction beta-diversity. Though floral richness exhibited a midelevation peak, bumble bee richness increased with elevation before leveling off at the highest sites, demonstrating the exceptional adaptation of these bees to cold temperatures and short growing seasons. In terms of abundance, though, bumble bees exhibited divergent species-level responses to elevation, with a clear separation between species preferring low versus high elevations. Overall interaction beta-diversity was mainly caused by strong turnover in the floral community, which exhibited a well-defined threshold of beta-diversity rate at the tree line ecotone. Interaction beta-diversity increased sharply at the upper extreme of the elevation gradient (1800-2000 m), an interval over which we also saw steep decline in floral richness and abundance. Turnover of bumble bees along the elevation gradient was modest, with the highest rate of beta-diversity occurring over the interval from low- to mid-elevation sites. The contrast between the relative robustness bumble bee communities and sensitivity of plant communities to the elevational gradient in our study suggests that the strongest effects of climate change on mountain bumble bees may be indirect effects mediated by the responses of their floral hosts, though bumble bee species that specialize in high-elevation habitats may also experience significant direct effects of warming.
Plan de classement
Sciences du milieu 
Sciences du monde végétal 
Sciences du monde animal 
Etudes, transformation, conservation du milieu naturel 
Fonds IRD [F B010085069]