Publications

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reconstructing the pollinator community and predicting seed set from hydrocarbon footprints on flowers.the measurement of insect visits to flowers is essential in basic and applied pollination ecology studies but often fraught with difficulty. floral visitation is highly variable, and observational studies are limited in scope due to the considerable time necessary to acquire reliable data. the aim of our study was to investigate whether the analysis of hydrocarbon residues (footprints) deposited by insects during flower visits would allow reconstruction of the visitor community and prediction of ...201121069386
a different gut microbial community between larvae and adults of a wild bumblebee nest (bombus pascuorum).although the gut microbial communities in adult bumblebees and their associated functionalities are widely studied, descriptive data on the larval gut microbiota are still limited. the gut microbiota of a fully sampled wild bombus pascuorum nest has been characterized, using the multiplexed illumina miseq 16s ribosomal rna amplicon sequencing technique. the nesters and foragers inhabiting the same nest showed the typical core bacterial sequences and only marginal differences in their characteriz ...201627531583
interactions between the bumblebee bombus pascuorum and red clover (trifolium pratense) are mediated by plant genetic background.wildflower mixes are often planted around field margins to provide forage for pollinators. although seed for these mixtures is often wild-sourced, for species where agricultural cultivars are available, for example red clover (trifolium pratense), cultivars can also be included. previous evidence suggests that plant genetic background can have a strong influence on plant-arthropod interactions and therefore the provenance and genetic background of the plants included in wildflower mixes could im ...201627552193
mapping species distributions: a comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording.to assess the ability of traditional biological recording schemes and lay citizen science approaches to gather data on species distributions and changes therein, we examined bumblebee records from the uk's national repository (national biodiversity network) and from beewatch. the two recording approaches revealed similar relative abundances of bumblebee species but different geographical distributions. for the widespread common carder (bombus pascuorum), traditional recording scheme data were pa ...201526508346
parasites and flower choice of bumblebees.in a field experiment, we tested whether workers of bumblebees, bombus pascuorum and b. humilis, parasitized by larvae of conopid flies, physocephala rufipes and sicus ferrugineus, differ in their flower choice from unparasitized ones. we collected workers at random in the field and immediately tested them in experimental arenas that offered the choice of a reference plant (red clover, trifolium pratense) versus a test plant (from five species). the choices of 396 workers were analysed with logi ...19989632470
the influence of relative plant density and floral morphological complexity on the behaviour of bumblebees.we assessed the combined effects of varying the relative density and the relative floral morphological complexity of plant species on the behaviour of their bumblebee pollinators. three species of bumblebee (bombus pascuorum, b. terrestris and b. hortorum) were observed foraging on experimental arrays consisting of pair-wise combinations of four plant species: borago officinalis, phacelia tanacetifolia (both with simple flowers), antirrhinum majus and linaria vulgaris (both with complex flowers) ...199828307680
endoparasitic flies, pollen-collection by bumblebees and a potential host-parasite conflict.conopid flies (conopidae, diptera) are common larval parasites of bumblebees. the larva develops inside the abdomen of workers, queens and males. development is completed within 10-12 days after oviposition when the host is killed and the parasite pupates in situ. development results in parasitised bees becoming unable to carry large loads of nectar, as the conopid larvae reside where the honey crop is normally located. furthermore, an addition to the bee's unloaden body mass is likely (average ...199128313839
reconstructing the pollinator community and predicting seed set from hydrocarbon footprints on flowers.the measurement of insect visits to flowers is essential for basic and applied pollination ecology, but is often fraught with difficulty. floral visitation is highly variable and observational studies are limited in scope due to the considerable time needed to acquire reliable data. our study investigates whether the analysis of hydrocarbon residues (footprints) deposited by insects during flower visits allows the reconstruction of the visitor community and the prediction of seed set for large n ...201120978796
estimation of bumblebee queen dispersal distances using sibship reconstruction method.dispersal ability is a key determinant of the propensity of an organism to cope with habitat fragmentation and climate change. here we quantify queen dispersal in two common bumblebee species in an arable landscape. dispersal was measured by taking dna samples from workers in the spring and summer, and from queens in the following spring, at 14 sites across a landscape. the queens captured in the spring must be full sisters of workers that were foraging in the previous year. a range of sibship r ...201020089127
pollination niche overlap between a parasitic plant and its host.niche theory predicts that species which share resources should evolve strategies to minimise competition for those resources, or the less competitive species would be extirpated. some plant species are constrained to co-occur, for example parasitic plants and their hosts, and may overlap in their pollination niche if they flower at the same time and attract the same pollinators. using field observations and experiments between 1996 and 2006, we tested a series of hypotheses regarding pollinatio ...200717146683
the population genetic structure of a large temperate pollinator species, bombus pascuorum (scopoli) (hymenoptera: apidae)the genetic population structure of the bumble bee bombus pascuorum was studied using six microsatellite loci and a partial sequence of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b. eighteen populations from central and northern europe were included in the analysis. observed levels of genetic variability and heterozygosity were high. estimates of population differentiation based on f- and phi-statistics revealed significant genetic differentiation among b. pascuorum populations and suggest that two parti ...199910199006
detection of deformed wing virus, a honey bee viral pathogen, in bumble bees (bombus terrestris and bombus pascuorum) with wing deformities.honey bees (apis mellifera) productively infected with deformed wing virus (dwv) through varroa destructor (v. destructor) during pupal stages develop into adults showing wing and other morphological deformities. here, we report for the first time the occurrence of bumble bees (bombus terrestris, bombus pascuorum) exhibiting wing deformities resembling those seen in clinically dwv-infected honey bees. using specific rt-pcr protocols for the detection of dwv followed by sequencing of the pcr prod ...200616300785
pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly an ...201222347356
varroa destructor macula-like virus, lake sinai virus and other new rna viruses in wild bumblebee hosts (bombus pascuorum, bombus lapidarius and bombus pratorum).pollinators such as bumblebees (bombus spp.) are in decline worldwide which poses a threat not only for ecosystem biodiversity but also to human crop production services. one main cause of pollinator decline may be the infection and transmission of diseases including rna viruses. recently, new viruses have been discovered in honeybees, but information on the presence of these in wild bumblebees is largely not available. in this study, we investigated the prevalence of new rna viruses in bombus s ...201626706994
Molecular detection of Spiroplasma apis and Spiroplasma melliferum in bees.Spiroplasma apis and Spiroplasma melliferum are known as honey bee pathogens and are detected by unspecific methodologies like culturing or dark field microscopy. We developed a multiplex PCR being able to differentiate between both species and detect the genus Spiroplasma. This PCR can directly be used on culture samples or on DNA extracted bees. By PCR on cultured samples we were able to identify S. apis in Bombus pratorum and S. melliferum in Bombus pascuorum.201222138255
the abundance and pollen foraging behaviour of bumble bees in relation to population size of whortleberry (vaccinium uliginosum).habitat fragmentation can have severe effects on plant pollinator interactions, for example changing the foraging behaviour of pollinators. to date, the impact of plant population size on pollen collection by pollinators has not yet been investigated. from 2008 to 2010, we monitored nine bumble bee species (bombus campestris, bombus hortorum s.l., bombus hypnorum, bombus lapidarius, bombus pascuorum, bombus pratorum, bombus soroensis, bombus terrestris s.l., bombus vestalis s.l.) on vaccinium ul ...201223209721
bifidobacteria in the digestive tract of bumblebees.bifidobacteria and other bacterial groups (lactobacilli, facultative anaerobes, anaerobes) from the digestive tract of three bumblebee species (bombus lucorum (34 samples), bombus pascuorum (18 samples) and bombus lapidarius (9 samples)) were enumerated and characterised. counts of facultative anaerobic bacteria and lactobacilli (5.41+/-2.92 and 2.69+/-3.02 log cfu/g of digestive tract content) were lower than those of anaerobes (7.66+/-0.86 log cfu/g). counts of bifidobacteria were determined u ...201019651224
bifidobacterium bombi sp. nov., from the bumblebee digestive tract.gram-positive-staining, anaerobic, non-spore-forming, lactate- and acetate-producing bacterial strains were isolated from the digestive tracts of different bumblebee species (bombus lucorum, bombus pascuorum and bombus lapidarius). all of the isolates produced fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase activity. a representative strain, bluci/tpt, was characterized further. cells of strain bluci/tpt showed occasional bifurcation and irregular constrictions. the bacterium utilized a wide range of carbo ...200919567560
tracing pollinator footprints on natural flowers.many insects are known to leave lipid footprints while walking on smooth surfaces. presumably, the deposited substances improve tarsal adhesion. in bumblebees, footprint hydrocarbons also function as scent marks that allow detection and avoidance of recently depleted flowers. i used gc-ms to detect hydrocarbons deposited by bumblebee (bombus pascuorum) on flowers of lamium maculatum. in addition to the plants' own cuticular lipids, extracts of corollas that had been visited by bumblebees contain ...200616739012
bumblebees experience landscapes at different spatial scales: possible implications for coexistence.coexistence in bumblebee communities has largely been investigated at local spatial scales. however, local resource partitioning does not fully explain the species diversity of bumblebee communities. theoretical studies provide new evidence that partitioning of space can promote species coexistence, when species interact with their environment at different spatial scales. if bumblebee species possess specific foraging ranges, different spatial resource utilisation patterns might operate as an ad ...200616758219
novel antibacterial peptides isolated from a european bumblebee, bombus pascuorum (hymenoptera, apoidea).we present here the isolation and characterization of four antimicrobial peptides produced by a european bumblebee bombus pascuorum. a 51-residue insect defensin was characterized which, like the apis mellifera defensins, had a highly conserved 12-residue extension to its c-terminal compared to defensins from other insects. monoisotopic mass analysis of the c-terminal of b. pascuorum defensin confirmed that this molecule was c-terminally amidated. this defensin showed strong anti-gram-positive a ...19979219367
an interspecific comparison of foraging range and nest density of four bumblebee (bombus) species.bumblebees are major pollinators of crops and wildflowers in northern temperate regions. knowledge of their ecology is vital for the design of effective management and conservation strategies but key aspects remain poorly understood. here we employed microsatellite markers to estimate and compare foraging range and nest density among four uk species: bombus terrestris, bombus pascuorum, bombus lapidarius, and bombus pratorum. workers were sampled along a 1.5-km linear transect across arable farm ...200515836652
genetic diversity and mass resources promote colony size and forager densities of a social bee (bombus pascuorum) in agricultural landscapes.although habitat fragmentation and agricultural intensification are known as threads to pollinator diversity, little is known about consequences for population size and genetic diversity. here, we combined detailed field observations, molecular approaches and gis-based quantification of landscape structure (measured by proportions of seminatural habitats and proportions of mass flowering crops) to get new insights into driving forces of population dynamics of the bumblebee species bombus pascuor ...200717391404
cytological variation and pathogenicity of the bumble bee parasite nosema bombi (microspora, nosematidae).in three field seasons, 2003-2005, bumble bees were collected in southern sweden and eastern denmark in search of microsporidian parasites. of the 16 bumble bee species studied, microsporidia were found in bombus hortorum, bombus hypnorum, bombus lapidarius, bombus lucorum, bombus pascuorum, bombus pratorum, bombus ruderarius, bombus subterraneus and bombus terrestris. only one microsporidian species, nosema bombi, was recorded. a microsporidium found in b. pratorum differed cytologically from m ...200717005191
unbiased rna shotgun metagenomics in social and solitary wild bees detects associations with eukaryote parasites and new viruses.the diversity of eukaryote organisms and viruses associated with wild bees remains poorly characterized in contrast to the well-documented pathosphere of the western honey bee, apis mellifera. using a deliberate rna shotgun metagenomic sequencing strategy in combination with a dedicated bioinformatics workflow, we identified the (micro-)organisms and viruses associated with two bumble bee hosts, bombus terrestris and bombus pascuorum, and two solitary bee hosts, osmia cornuta and andrena vaga. i ...201628006002
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