Invasion dynamics of the European bumblebee Bombus terrestris in the southern part of South America

Francisco E. Fontúrbel, Maureen M. Murúa, Lorena Vieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Invasive species are one of the main biodiversity loss drivers. Some species can establish and thrive in novel habitats, impacting local communities, as is the case of managed pollinators. In this regard, an invasive species' expansion process over time is critical for its control and management. A good example is the European bumblebee Bombus terrestris, which has rapidly invaded the southern part of South America after being repeatedly introduced in Chile for crop pollination since 1997. We assessed the temporal dynamics of B. terrestris invasion in Argentina and Chile by compiling 562 occurrence points from 2000 to 2019. We used two estimators (minimum convex polygon and 95% fixed kernel) to estimate the increase of the invaded area over time. We found that the area invaded by B. terrestris in the southern part of South America presents a linear increase over time, which was consistent for both estimators. In this scenario, species traits, environmental characteristics, and introduction dynamics facilitate a rapid invasion process that will continue to expand, reaching other South American countries in the near future. As this bumblebee is a super-generalist, it probably will expand across South America, as climate niche modelling predicts, if no actions were taken.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15306
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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