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Increased genetic differentiation in a specialist versus a generalist bee: implications for conservation

Increased genetic differentiation in a specialist versus a generalist bee: implications for conservation,10.1007/s10592-005-9094-5,Conservation Geneti

Increased genetic differentiation in a specialist versus a generalist bee: implications for conservation   (Citations: 23)
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Oligolectic bees are specialists that collect pollen from one or a few closely related species of plants, while polylectic bees are generalists that collect pollen from both related and unrelated species of plants. Because of their more restricted range of floral hosts, it is expected that specialists persist in more isolated populations than do generalists. We present data on the population structure of two closely related bee species sampled from a super abundant floral host in the southern Atacama Desert. Pairwise comparisons of population subdivision over identical distances revealed that the specialist bee had significantly more differentiated populations in comparison to the generalist. Further, populations of the specialist had significantly less genetic variation, measured as observed and expected heterozgyosity, than those of the generalist. Our data support the hypothesis of decreased gene flow among populations of the specialist bee even at equivalent geographic distances. The resulting reductions in effective population size for specialists make them particularly prone to extinction due to both demographic and genetic reasons. Our findings have important implications for the conservation of bees and other specialist insects.
Journal: Conservation Genetics - CONSERV GENET , vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 1017-1026, 2005
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    • ... Furthermore, a lower propensity of dispersal in phytophages with a narrow host range might lead to a lower level of gene flow compared to generalists ...

    Jörg Mülleret al. The Predictability of Phytophagous Insect Communities: Host Specialist...

    • ...This has been particularly proposed for specialized wild bee species which are often specialized on single plant species or genera as larval food (Packer et al. 2005; Zayed et al. 2005)...
    • ...Nevertheless, deviations from HWE were rather sparse compared to other Hymenoptera (Paxton et al. 1996; Danforth et al. 2003; Zayed et al. 2005; Stow et al. 2007, Exeler et al. 2008)...

    Nina Exeleret al. Does recent habitat fragmentation affect the population genetics of a ...

    • ...Although the majority of species are polylectic, it is the significant minority of oligolectic species that are most under threat (Zayed et al., 2005; Zayed, 2009 )a nd most likely to have difficulty adapting to new hosts (Praz et al., 2008)...

    Michael Batleyet al. Diversity and conservation status of native Australian bees

    • ...Kelley et al. 2000; Brouat et al. 2003; Zayed et al. 2005; Hoehn et al. 2007)...

    Lauren M. Chanet al. The scale of genetic differentiation in the Dunes Sagebrush-Lizard ( S...

    • ...Such studies are needed to examine how specialization affects population genetic parameters relevant to conservation (Packer et al., 2005; Zayed et al., 2005) and for testing hypotheses regarding the evolution of specialization and ecological speciation (Futuyma and Moreno, 1988; Funk et al., 2002), in addition to shedding light on the peculiar global patterns of bee biodiversity (Danforth et al., 2003)...
    • ...Thus, all other factors being equal, populations of specialists are expected to be more isolated than those of generalists (Futuyma and Moreno, 1988; Packer et al., 2005; Zayed et al., 2005)...
    • ...Zayed et al. (2005), also using allozymes, found that populations of the specialist bee Leioproctus rufiventris were more genetically differentiated than those of the generalist Colletes seminitidus sampled from identical localities in the southern Atacama Desert...
    • ...Significant population structure is expected in specialists (reviewed by Futuyma and Moreno, 1988; Funk et al., 2002; Packer et al., 2005; Zayed et al., 2005), as found for L. oenotherae...
    • ...Until now, only two studies of the population structure of specialist bees have been undertaken, with both studies documenting significant structure in specialist bees in xeric environments (Danforth et al., 2003; Zayed et al., 2005)...

    A Zayedet al. The population genetics of a solitary oligolectic sweat bee, Lasioglos...

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