Diversity of Eusocial Bees in Natural and Anthropized Areas of a Tropical Dry Forest in the Parque da Sapucaia (Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil)

Priscila Santos Gonçalves, Walter Santos de Araújo


 In the present study we inventoried the diversity of eusocial bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in preserved and anthropized areas of a tropical dry forest in the Parque da Sapucaia (Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil). We tested the hypothesis that the diversity of bee species would: 1) be greater in the preserved areas, 2) respond positively to the structure of the vegetation and 3) decrease during the dry season. We sampled eusocial bee species in 18 plots of 10 x 10 m distributed throughout the park, being nine plots in anthropized areas and nine plots in areas with preserved vegetation.  In total we recorded 382 individuals and eight species of eusocial bees. The most abundant species was Oxytrigona tataira (Smith) (N = 233) and the most common species was Trigona spinipes (Fabricius) recorded in 72.2% of the plots. As expected, we found that eusocial bee diversity (Shannon diversity) was higher in preserved plots than in anthropized plots. Tree species richness positively affected bee species richness and abundance, while tree abundance positively influenced the bee abundance and tree height positively affected the bee Shannon diversity, corroborating our expectations. On the other hand, we detected no differences in the diversity of eusocial bees between dry and rainy seasons. Our findings suggest that both natural (vegetation structure) and anthropogenic (habitat modification) factors are important predictors of the diversity of eusocial bee species in tropical dry forests.


eusocial insects; Meliponini; pollination; plant-animal interaction; stingless bee

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v68i1.5305


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