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Title. Impact of pollination web modifications in wild bee decline.

Funding. FRFC 2.4613.12, FNRS (Belgian National Funds for Research), 2012-2016.

Partners. UCL (Prof. A.-L. Jacquemart) and UMons (Dr. D. Michez, Prof. P. Rasmont and Prof. R. Wattiez).

Contact. Denis Michez, Romain Moerman and Nathalie Roger.

Abstract. By foraging pollen and nectar, bees are a key group involved in the stability of pollination webs and therefore, in the reproduction of Angiosperms. Decline of several bee species have been proved since decades and widely impact on the stability and functions of wild and agricultural ecosystems. States and causes of decline are poorly documented. The main factors are supposed to be from human activities but a few is known about interactions between these activities. We propose an original project by testing on ecologically different species the synergy of some factors likely driving bee decline. Moreover we will evaluate the loss of genetic diversity as ultimate cause of species extinction in Belgium. Our hypothesis is that modifications of host-plant ressources impact on individual development, their immonucompetence and their ability to resist to parasites, with ultimate consequence on population size reduction and loss of genetic diversity.

Vanderplanck M, Moerman R, Rasmont P, Lognay G, Wathelet B, Wattiez R, Michez D, 2014. How does pollen chemistry impact development and feeding behaviour of polylectic bees ? Plos One, I.F. 3.7, PLoS ONE 9(1): e86209. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086209.
Maebe, K., Meeus I., Maharramov J., Grootaert P., Michez D., Rasmont P. & Smagghe G. 2013. Microsatellite analysis in museum samples reveals inbreeding before the regression of Bombus veteranus. Apidologie, I.F. 2.3, 44: 188-197.