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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The decline and conservation of bumblebees
Author(s): Goulson, Dave
Lye, Gillian
Darvill, Ben
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Keywords: Hymenoptera
habitat loss
population structure
Insects Reproduction
Insects evolution
Bees Evolution
Bumblebees behavior
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Date Deposited: 27-Feb-2009
Citation: Goulson D, Lye G & Darvill B (2008) The decline and conservation of bumblebees. Annual Review of Entomology, 53, pp. 191-208.
Abstract: Declines in bumblebee species in the last 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are primarily driven by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumblebees and their largely monogamous breeding system which renders their effective population size low. Hence populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumblebee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a non-native parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumblebee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumblebees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, it is vital that steps be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumblebee use and targeted use of agri-environment schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes.
DOI Link: 10.1146/annurev.ento.53.103106.093454
Rights: Posted with permission from the Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 53 © 2008 by Annual Reviews,

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