Climate and food resources shape species richness and trophic interactions of cavity-nesting Hymenoptera

Mayr, Antonia V.; Peters, Marcell K.; Eardley, Connal D.; Renner, Marion E.; Roeder, Juliane; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf (2020). Climate and food resources shape species richness and trophic interactions of cavity-nesting Hymenoptera. Journal of biogeography, 47(4), pp. 854-865. Wiley 10.1111/jbi.13753

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Aim Temperature, food resources and top-down regulation by antagonists are considered as major drivers of insect diversity, but their relative importance is poorly understood. Here, we used cavity-nesting communities of bees, wasps and their antagonists to reveal the role of temperature, food resources, parasitism rate and land use as drivers of species richness at different trophic levels along a broad elevational gradient. Location Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Taxon Cavity-nesting Hymenoptera (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Colletidae, Megachilidae, Crabronidae, Sphecidae, Pompilidae, Vespidae). Methods We established trap nests on 25 study sites that were distributed over similar large distances in terms of elevation along an elevational gradient from 866 to 1788 m a.s.l., including both natural and disturbed habitats. We quantified species richness and abundance of bees, wasps and antagonists, parasitism rates and flower or arthropod food resources. Data were analysed with generalized linear models within a multi-model inference framework. Results Elevational species richness patterns changed with trophic level from monotonically declining richness of bees to increasingly humped-shaped patterns for caterpillar-hunting wasps, spider-hunting wasps and antagonists. Parasitism rates generally declined with elevation but were higher for wasps than for bees. Temperature was the most important predictor of both bee and wasp host richness patterns. Antagonist richness patterns were also well predicted by temperature, but in contrast to host richness patterns, additionally by resource abundance and diversity. The conversion of natural habitats through anthropogenic land use, which included biomass removal, agricultural inputs, vegetation structure and percentage of surrounding agricultural habitats, had no significant effects on bee and wasp communities. Main conclusions Our study underpins the importance of temperature as a main driver of diversity gradients in ectothermic organisms and reveals the increasingly important role of food resources at higher trophic levels. Higher parasitism rates at higher trophic levels and at higher temperatures indicated that the relative importance of bottom-up and top-down drivers of species richness change across trophic levels and may respond differently to future climate change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Renner, Marion Elisabeth

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0305-0270

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2020 15:17

Last Modified:

07 Apr 2020 11:58

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jbi.13753

Uncontrolled Keywords:

antagonists, bees, bottom-up and top-down control, elevational gradients, feeding guilds, land-use change, species richness, trophic levels, wasps

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.139409

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/139409

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