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  1. Abstract Reports of pollinator declines have prompted efforts to understand contributing factors and protect vulnerable species. While pathogens can be widespread in bee communities, less is known about factors shaping pathogen prevalence among species. Functional traits are often used to predict susceptibility to stressors, including pathogens, in other species-rich communities. Here, we evaluated the relationship between bee functional traits (body size, phenology, nesting location, sociality, and foraging choice) and prevalence of trypanosomes, neogregarines, and the microsporidian Nosema ceranae in wild bee communities. For the most abundant bee species in our system, Bombus impatiens , we also evaluated the relationship between intra-specific size variation and pathogen prevalence. A trait-based model fit the neogregarine prevalence data better than a taxa-based model, while the taxonomic model provided a better model fit for N. ceranae prevalence, and there was no marked difference between the models for trypanosome prevalence. We found that Augochlorella aurata was more likely to harbor trypanosomes than many other bee taxa. Similarly, we found that bigger bees and those with peak activity later in the season were less likely to harbor trypanosomes, though the effect of size was largely driven by A. aurata . We found no clear intra-specific size patternsmore »for pathogen prevalence in B. impatiens . These results indicate that functional traits are not always better than taxonomic affinity in predicting pathogen prevalence, but can help to explain prevalence depending on the pathogen in species-rich bee communities.« less
  2. DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria (Ed.)
    Abstract Both ecosystem function and agricultural productivity depend on services provided by bees; these services are at risk from bee declines which have been linked to land use change, pesticide exposure, and pathogens. Although these stressors often co-occur in agroecosystems, a majority of pollinator health studies have focused on these factors in isolation, therefore limiting our ability to make informed policy and management decisions. Here, we investigate the combined impact of altered landscape composition and fungicide exposure on the prevalence of chalkbrood disease, caused by fungi in the genus Ascosphaera Olive and Spiltoir 1955 (Ascosphaeraceae: Onygenales), in the introduced solitary bee, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski 1887) (Megachilidae: Hymenoptera). We used both field studies and laboratory assays to evaluate the potential for interactions between altered landscape composition, fungicide exposure, and Ascosphaera on O. cornifrons mortality. Chalkbrood incidence in larval O. cornifrons decreased with high open natural habitat cover, whereas Ascosphaera prevalence in adults decreased with high urban habitat cover. Conversely, high fungicide concentration and high forest cover increased chalkbrood incidence in larval O. cornifrons and decreased Ascosphaera incidence in adults. Our laboratory assay revealed an additive effect of fungicides and fungal pathogen exposure on the mortality of a common solitary bee. Additionally,more »we utilized phylogenetic methods and identified four species of Ascosphaera with O. cornifrons, both confirming previous reports and shedding light on new associates. Our findings highlight the impact of fungicides on bee health and underscore the importance of studying interactions among factors associated with bee decline.« less
  3. Irwin, Rebecca (Ed.)
  4. Human land use threatens global biodiversity and compromises multiple ecosystem functions critical to food production. Whether crop yield–related ecosystem services can be maintained by a few dominant species or rely on high richness remains unclear. Using a global database from 89 studies (with 1475 locations), we partition the relative importance of species richness, abundance, and dominance for pollination; biological pest control; and final yields in the context of ongoing land-use change. Pollinator and enemy richness directly supported ecosystem services in addition to and independent of abundance and dominance. Up to 50% of the negative effects of landscape simplification on ecosystem services was due to richness losses of service-providing organisms, with negative consequences for crop yields. Maintaining the biodiversity of ecosystem service providers is therefore vital to sustain the flow of key agroecosystem benefits to society.