Free Access
Volume 40, Number 3, May-June 2009
Bee conservation
Page(s) 211 - 236
Published online 07 July 2009
Apidologie 40 (2009) 211-236
DOI: 10.1051/apido/2009015

Conservation ecology of bees: populations, species and communities

Tomás E. Murray1, Michael Kuhlmann2 and Simon G. Potts3

1  Crops Research Centre, Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Co. Carlow, Ireland
2  Department of Entomology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
3  Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading RG6 6AR, UK

Received 30 October 2008 – Accepted 13 February 2009 - Published online 7 July 2009

Abstract - 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 habitat-targeted 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.

Key words: conservation / biodiversity / population / community / plant-pollinator

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2009