Distance and habitat drive fine scale stingless bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) community turnover across naturally heterogeneous forests in the western Amazon


  • Tracy Misiewicz University of California, Berkeley
  • Ekaphan Kraichak Science and Education, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL, USA
  • Claus Rasmussen Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 114, Bldg. 1540, DK-8000 Aarhus, Denmark




Apidae, beta-diversity, distance-based redundancy analysis, Peru, white-sand forest


High tree species richness in the western Amazon has been attributed to heterogeneous soils, which harbor edaphic specialist trees. While rapid transitions in tree communities are well documented across these variable soils few studies have investigated the role of habitat heterogeneity in structuring animal communities.  Stingless bees are taxonomically diverse and important natural pollinators in Neotropical forests. However, little is known about their community structuring at local scales in naturally heterogeneous environments. We systematically sampled stingless bee communities found across three paired sites that included adjacent patches of white-sand and non-white-sand forest in the lowland Amazonian region of Loreto, Peru. We sought to understand: (1) How stingless bee species richness and abundance differs among white-sand and non-white-sand habitats and (2) The relative influence of fine scale geographic distance and habitat type in structuring stingless bee communities. We found that species richness did not differ between habitats and that species abundances were highest in white-sand habitats. Community analyses for sampling sites pooled across all months demonstrated that location and soil type played a significant role in structuring bee communities and that community turnover may be more strongly influenced by distance in white-sand habitats than non-white sand habitats.  Our results suggest that distance and habitat play an important role in driving stingless bee community turnover at fine scales and that the interaction between habitat and geographic distance may promote higher stingless bee community turnover in white-sand habitats than non-white sand habitats.


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How to Cite

Misiewicz, T., Kraichak, E., & Rasmussen, C. (2014). Distance and habitat drive fine scale stingless bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) community turnover across naturally heterogeneous forests in the western Amazon. Sociobiology, 61(4), 407–414. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i4.407-414



Research Article - Bees