Network of Bee-plant Interactions and Recognition of Key Species in Semideciduous Forest

Isabel Farias Aidar, Bruno Ferreira Bartelli, Fernanda Helena Nogueira-Ferreira


Bees are the most effective pollinators of native plants, contributing to forest maintenance. Obtaining information about networks of bee-plant interactions is critical for conservation and habitat management of native pollinators. This study aimed to determine the richness of flower-visiting bees in a fragment of Semideciduous Forest (SF) in Uberlândia-MG, identify the plants visited by them and build a network of bee-plant interactions in this fragment. The study was conducted between October 2010 and September 2011 in a transect of 200 meters on the edge of the forest, with monthly collections performed from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm. We constructed the network of bee-plant interactions and calculated the NODF index and betweenness centrality. We collected 70 bee species and 25 plant species. The network of interactions was nested (NODF = 10.97, P = 0:03). Apis mellifera Linnaeus and Merremia macrocalyx (Ruiz & Pav.) O'Donell showed the highest centrality. The nestedness of the network of bee-plant interactions gives it stability, demonstrating its importance to the fragment’s conservation. It is suggested that M. macrocalyx is a key species in this network, since this plant attracted the highest number of bee species and showed the highest centrality, contributing to network cohesion.


inventory; bees; fragment; nestedness

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