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Journal Articles Conservation Physiology Year : 2023

Using physiology to better support wild bee conservation

Utilisation de la physiologie pour mieux servir la conservation des abeilles sauvages

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1
Jean-Luc Brunet
Mickael Henry
Cedric Alaux
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Abstract

There is accumulating evidence that wild bees are experiencing a decline in terms of species diversity, abundance or distribution, which leads to major concerns about the sustainability of both pollination services and intrinsic biodiversity. There is therefore an urgent need to better understand the drivers of their decline, as well as design conservation strategies. In this context, the current approach consists of linking observed occurrence and distribution data of species to environmental features. While useful, a highly complementary approach would be the use of new biological metrics that can link individual bee responses to environmental alteration with population-level responses, which could communicate the actual bee sensitivity to environmental changes and act as early warning signals of bee population decline or sustainability. We discuss here through several examples how the measurement of bee physiological traits or performance can play this role not only in better assessing the impact of anthropogenic pressures on bees, but also in guiding conservation practices with the help of the documentation of species' physiological needs. Last but not least, because physiological changes generally occur well in advance of demographic changes, we argue that physiological traits can help in predicting and anticipating future population trends, which would represent a more proactive approach to conservation. In conclusion, we believe that future efforts to combine physiological, ecological and population-level knowledge will provide meaningful contributions to wild bee conservation-based research.
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Dates and versions

hal-03937693 , version 1 (13-01-2023)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Clementine Leroy, Jean-Luc Brunet, Mickael Henry, Cedric Alaux. Using physiology to better support wild bee conservation. Conservation Physiology, 2023, 11 (1), ⟨10.1093/conphys/coac076⟩. ⟨hal-03937693⟩

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