Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Influence of urbanisation on the prevalence of protozoan parasites of bumblebees
Authors: Goulson, Dave
Whitehorn, Penelope R
Fowley, Marc
Contact Email:
Keywords: Apicystis bombi
Crithidia bombi
Nosema bombi
population density
Issue Date: Feb-2012
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Goulson D, Whitehorn PR & Fowley M (2012) Influence of urbanisation on the prevalence of protozoan parasites of bumblebees, Ecological Entomology, 37 (1), pp. 83-89.
Abstract: 1. Increasing urbanisation is often cited as a cause of declining biodiversity, but for bumblebees there is evidence that urban populations of some species such as Bombus terrestris L. may be more dense than those found in agricultural landscapes, perhaps because gardens provide plentiful floral resources and nesting opportunities. 2. Here we examine the influence of urbanisation on the prevalence of the main protozoan parasites of bumblebees in west central Scotland. We would expect transmission rates and prevalence of parasites to be higher in high density host populations, all else being equal. 3. Workers of two bee species, B. terrestris and B. pascuorum, were sampled over a 45-day period in mid to late summer, and parasites were detected in faeces and via dissection. A comparison of the two methods suggests that faecal sampling is considerably less sensitive than dissection, failing to detect infection in 27.8%, 55.1%, and 80% of cases of infection with the parasites Crithidia bombi, Nosema bombi, and Apicystis bombi, respectively. 4. For all three parasites, broad patterns of prevalence were similar, with prevalence tending to increase with urbanisation in B. terrestris but not in B. pascuorum. The different patterns of seasonal prevalence in the two bee species suggest that intraspecific transmission is more important that interspecific transmission. 5. Our observation of greater parasite prevalence among B. terrestris in urban compared with rural areas suggests that urban habitats may present greater opportunities for parasite transmission. Greater bee densities in urban areas may be the driving factor; however, further study is still needed. For example, differences in disease prevalence between habitats could be driven by differences in the types and abundance of flowers that are available, or in exposure to environmental stressors.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Stirling

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
goulson_influenceofurbanisation_2012.pdf664.5 kBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 31/12/2999     Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.