Superorganism resilience: eusociality and susceptibility of ecosystem service providing insects to stressors

Straub, Lars; Williams, Geoffrey Rhys; Pettis, Jeff; Fries, Ingemar; Neumann, Peter (2015). Superorganism resilience: eusociality and susceptibility of ecosystem service providing insects to stressors. Current Opinion in Insect Science, 12, pp. 109-112. Elsevier 10.1016/j.cois.2015.10.010

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Insects provide crucial ecosystem services for human food security and maintenance of biodiversity. Therefore, major declines in wild insects combined with losses of managed bees have raised great concern. Recent data suggest that honey bees appear to be less susceptible to stressors compared to other species. Here, we argue that eusociality plays a key role for the susceptibility of insects to environmental stressors due to superorganism resilience, which can be defined as the ability to tolerate the loss of somatic cells (= workers) as long as the germ line (= reproduction) is maintained. Life history and colony size appear critical for such resilience. Future conservation efforts should take superorganism resilience into account to safeguard ecosystem services by insects.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Straub, Lars; Williams, Geoffrey Rhys and Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

2214-5745

Publisher:

Elsevier

Funders:

[70] Bundesamt fur Umwelt (BAFU) ; [71] Agroscope ; [72] Vinetum Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lars Straub

Date Deposited:

10 May 2016 16:02

Last Modified:

14 Mar 2021 12:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.cois.2015.10.010

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.81919

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81919

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