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Seasonal changes in odour preferences by male euglossine bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and their ecological implications


Abrahamczyk, S; Gottleuber, P; Kessler, M (2012). Seasonal changes in odour preferences by male euglossine bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and their ecological implications. Apidologie, 43(2):212-217.

Abstract

Orchid bees are an important group of specialized insect pollinators in the Neotropics. Male orchid bees are attracted by a wide range of aromatic substances often produced by flowers. Previous studies found that in some species the males change their aromatic preferences between seasons. In our study we documented seasonal changes of aromatic preferences in five euglossine bee assemblages along a 380-km-long seasonality and precipitation gradient and related them to climatic factors. We found that the proportion of species per site showing changes in their aromatic preference between seasons increased with climatic seasonality towards the south. Those species mainly belong to the genus Euglossa, subgenus Euglossa. We conclude that climatic seasonality mainly affects the orchid bees via the turnover of the aromatic substances provided by the plants. Further, we suggest that the ability to change the aromatic preference between seasons could be interpreted as a phylogenetic pre-adaptation that enabled some species to colonize climatically strongly seasonal habitats.

Abstract

Orchid bees are an important group of specialized insect pollinators in the Neotropics. Male orchid bees are attracted by a wide range of aromatic substances often produced by flowers. Previous studies found that in some species the males change their aromatic preferences between seasons. In our study we documented seasonal changes of aromatic preferences in five euglossine bee assemblages along a 380-km-long seasonality and precipitation gradient and related them to climatic factors. We found that the proportion of species per site showing changes in their aromatic preference between seasons increased with climatic seasonality towards the south. Those species mainly belong to the genus Euglossa, subgenus Euglossa. We conclude that climatic seasonality mainly affects the orchid bees via the turnover of the aromatic substances provided by the plants. Further, we suggest that the ability to change the aromatic preference between seasons could be interpreted as a phylogenetic pre-adaptation that enabled some species to colonize climatically strongly seasonal habitats.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:21 Feb 2012 16:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:26
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0044-8435
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-011-0096-7

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