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Omnivory in Bees: Elevated Trophic Positions among All Major Bee Families

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Title: Omnivory in Bees: Elevated Trophic Positions among All Major Bee Families
Authors: Steffan, Shawn A. Browse this author
Dharampal, Prarthana S. Browse this author
Danforth, Bryan N. Browse this author
Gaines-Day, Hannah R. Browse this author
Takizawa, Yuko Browse this author
Chikaraishi, Yoshito Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: delta N-15
compound-specific isotopic analysis
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2019
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Journal Title: American naturalist
Volume: 194
Issue: 3
Start Page: 414
End Page: 421
Publisher DOI: 10.1086/704281
Abstract: As pollen and nectar foragers, bees have long been considered strictly herbivorous. Their pollen provisions, however, are host to abundant microbial communities, which feed on the pollen before and/or while it is consumed by bee larvae. In the process, microbes convert pollen into a complex of plant and microbial components. Since microbes are analogous to metazoan consumers within trophic hierarchies, the pollen-eating microbes are, functionally, herbivores. When bee larvae consume a microbe-rich pollen complex, they ingest proteins from plant and microbial sources and thus should register as omnivores on the trophic "ladder." We tested this hypothesis by examining the isotopic compositions of amino acids extracted from native bees collected in North America over multiple years. We measured bee trophic position across the six major bee families. Our findings indicate that bee trophic identity was consistently and significantly higher than that of strict herbivores, providing the first evidence that omnivory is ubiquitous among bee fauna. Such omnivory suggests that pollen-borne microbes represent an important protein source for larval bees, which introduces new questions as to the link between floral fungicide residues and bee development.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:低温科学研究所 (Institute of Low Temperature Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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