MORALES Carolina Laura
Detrimental effects of volcanic ash deposition on bee fauna and plant-pollinator interactions
MORALES CAROLINA LAURA; SAEZ AGUSTÍN; ARBETMAN MARINA; CAVALLERO LAURA; AIZEN MARCELO ADRIAN
Asociación Argentina de Ecología
Lugar: Buenos Aires; Año: 2014 vol. 24 p. 42 - 42
ABSTRACT. Volcanic eruptions are large-scale natural disturbances, which can negatively affect insect fauna and the ecological interactions in which they are involved. The 2011 eruption of the volcanic complex Puyehue Cordón-Caulle (PCC) produced the deposition of 950 million tons of ash on Argentine Patagonia, creating an ash layer of varying thickness. Although experimental studies confirmed that PCC volcanic ash negatively affects survival and behavior in many insect taxa, including bees, the effects of ash deposition on the plant-pollinator interactions (PPI) of this group of insects in natural landscapes remained untested. We evaluated the effect of the gradient of increasing ash layer thickness (0-15cm) on: (1) number of wild bees visiting flowers and total bee richness in 16 raspberry fields after the eruption, (2) number of native (Bombus dahlbomii) and invasive (B. terrestris and B. ruderatus) bumble bees foraging on wild flowers in 10 sites before and after the eruption, and (3) the proportion of ?triggered? flowers (i.e. papilionaceous flowers visited for first time by large bees) in 32 populations of the invasive shrub scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), before and after the eruption. With the increase of ash deposition, we found a consistent and significant decrease in (1) the number of wild bees and total bee richness visiting raspberry flowers; (2) the number of bumble bees, particularly B. terrestris, visiting wild flowers; and (3) the proportion of triggered flowers of scotch broom. Thus, volcanic eruptions can exert a detrimental effect on bee fauna and concomitant PPI, with a potential cascade effect on the pollination service to crops, the spread of invasive bumble bees, and the pollination success of invasive plants.