Different Physiognomies and the Structure of Euglossini bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Communities

Clycie Aparecida da Silva Machado, Claudineia Pereira Costa, Tiago Maurício Francoy


Our aim was to evaluate the occurrence of orchid bees in remnants of the Atlantic Forest. We sampled specimens from five regions of Southeast Brazil, covering three different physiognomies of the Atlantic Forest (mixed Araucaria forests with high altitude fields, Atlantic Semi-deciduous Forest and Atlantic Rain Forest). The distances between the sampling sites ranged from 24 to 746 km. Male orchid bees attracted by fragrances were actively sampled monthly during one year using entomological nets and aromatic traps. A total of 1,482 bees were captured, including four genera and at least 31 species. We observed differences in the abundance and richness of species sampled among sites. Climatic variables, mostly relative humidity, explained twice more of the observed differences in the Euglossini communities than simple spatial variation. Our study found differences in the composition of euglossine bee communities as well as in their patterns of abundance and dominance among different vegetation formations. However, the level of pairwise similarity among the Euglossini communities sampled, although highly variable, was not related to climatic factors or geographical distances between the sampling sites. The greatest dissimilarities in the composition of the orchid bee communities were observed between sites around 400 km from each other rather than among sites that were further apart. A possible explanation is that the sampled areas that were 400 km from each other were also highly dissimilar regarding climate, especially altitude.


Euglossini, physiognomies, Atlantic Forest, beta diversity, conservation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v65i3.2718


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