Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Huang, M.-J., A. C. Hughes, C.-Y. Xu, B.-G. Miao, J. Gao, and Y.-Q. Peng. 2022. Mapping the changing distribution of two important pollinating giant honeybees across 21000 years. Global Ecology and Conservation 39: e02282. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2022.e02282

Pollinators play an important role in ecosystems, but global climate change threatens the diversity and geographical distribution of pollinators. Bees are some of the most important pollinators and are particularly sensitive to climate change and environmental change. Apis laboriosa and Apis dorsata are two species of giant honeybees distributed in Asia, and play important roles in their ecosystems. In this study, we analyzed the key factors affecting the distribution of two species, as well as their potential suitable areas and possible co-existence regional changes under the global climate change. We collected and filtered global distribution data of A. laboriosa and A. dorsata, then used eight climatic variables and Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) to simulate their potential suitable areas for the past, present and future (using two different climate scenarios) using MaxEnt. Finally, we used ArcGIS 10.2 and ENMTools to calculate range overlap and niche overlap of the two species in order to infer areas of co-existence. Temperature-related variables had the largest contribution to the model simulation. Among these variables, temperature seasonality (Bio 4) and mean temperature of coldest quarter (Bio 11) showed the strongest influence on the distributions of two giant honeybees. Under the current climate scenario, the species overlap in Nepal and Yunnan of China, with low niche overlap index. Between the last-glacial maximum to the present both honeybees moved northwest to their present range. A. laboriosa is projected to move to the northeast and A. dorsata may move southeast. Only 6.6% of overlapping distribution is currently protected, and further work is needed to protect these key areas.

Tabor, J. A., and J. B. Koch. 2021. Ensemble Models Predict Invasive Bee Habitat Suitability Will Expand under Future Climate Scenarios in Hawai’i. Insects 12: 443. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12050443

Climate change is predicted to increase the risk of biological invasions by increasing the availability of climatically suitable regions for invasive species. Endemic species on oceanic islands are particularly sensitive to the impact of invasive species due to increased competition for shared resou…

Ji, Y. 2021. The geographical origin, refugia, and diversification of honey bees (Apis spp.) based on biogeography and niche modeling. Apidologie 52: 367–377. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-020-00826-6

An understanding of the origin and formation of biodiversity and distribution patterns can provide a theoretical foundation for biodiversity conservation. In this study, phylogeny and biogeography analyses based on mitochondrial genomes and niche modeling based on occurrence records were performed t…

Orr, M. C., A. C. Hughes, D. Chesters, J. Pickering, C.-D. Zhu, and J. S. Ascher. 2021. Global Patterns and Drivers of Bee Distribution. Current Biology 31: 451-458.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053

Insects are the focus of many recent studies suggesting population declines, but even invaluable pollination service providers such as bees lack a modern distributional synthesis. Here, we combine a uniquely comprehensive checklist of bee species distributions and >5,800,000 public bee occurrence re…

Medina, A. M., and M. Almeida-Neto. 2020. Grinnelian and Eltonian niche conservatism of the European honeybee (Apis mellifera) in its exotic distribution. Sociobiology 67: 239. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v67i2.4901

The understanding of how niche-related traits change during species invasion have prompted what is now known as the niche conservatism principle. Most studies that have tested the niche conservatism principle have focused on the extent to which the species’ climatic niches remain stable in their exo…

Liu, X., T. M. Blackburn, T. Song, X. Wang, C. Huang, and Y. Li. 2020. Animal invaders threaten protected areas worldwide. Nature Communications 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2

Protected areas are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. However, alien species invasion is an increasing threat to biodiversity, and the extent to which protected areas worldwide are resistant to incursions of alien species remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate establishment by 8…