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Hofmann, Michaela M. and Renner, Susanne S. (2020): Bee species decrease and increase between the 1990s and 2018 in large urban protected sites. In: Journal of Insect Conservation, Vol. 24, No. 4: pp. 637-642 [PDF, 1MB]


Previous work has shown that among 428 species of bees occurring in Germany, decline or extinction over the past 40 years have been correlated with late-season emergence and restricted habitats, while other factors, such as pollen specialization, body size, nesting sites, and sociality, played no role in models that included a phylogeny of these bees. Doing best are spring-flying, city-dwelling species. Building on these results, we here investigate changes in bee diversity from the 1990s to 2018 at three protected sites within the city perimeter of Munich, focusing on the correlates of flight season (spring or summer), flight duration (in months), and number of habitats (one or two vs. three to six). Local species pools were assessed against the total species pool from 1795 onwards. Twenty years ago, 150 species were present at one or more of the sites, while in 2017/2018, this was true of 188 species, with the increase at two sites being of similar proportion. In two of the three areas, broad habitat use was positively correlated with persistence. Flight season or duration had no statistical effect. These results underscore the function of urban protected sites in bee conservation and imply that summer food shortages, which negatively affect bees in agricultural areas, play no role in urbanized regions so that late-season flight is not an extinction handicap.

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