Pesticide exposure affects flight dynamics and reduces flight endurance in bumblebees

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Title: Pesticide exposure affects flight dynamics and reduces flight endurance in bumblebees
Authors: Kenna, D
Cooley, H
Pretelli, I
Ramos Rodrigues, A
Gill, S
Gill, R
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The emergence of agricultural land use change creates a number of challenges that insect pollinators, such as eusocial bees, must overcome. Resultant fragmentation and loss of suitable foraging habitats, combined with pesticide exposure, may increase demands on foraging, specifically the ability to collect or reach sufficient resources under such stress. Understanding effects that pesticides have on flight performance is therefore vital if we are to assess colony success in these changing landscapes. Neonicotinoids are one of the most widely used classes of pesticide across the globe, and exposure to bees has been associated with reduced foraging efficiency and homing ability. One explanation for these effects could be that elements of flight are being affected, but apart from a couple of studies on the honeybee (Apis mellifera), this has scarcely been tested. Here, we used flight mills to investigate how exposure to a field realistic (10 ppb) acute dose of imidacloprid affected flight performance of a wild insect pollinator—the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris audax. Intriguingly, observations showed exposed workers flew at a significantly higher velocity over the first ¾ km of flight. This apparent hyperactivity, however, may have a cost because exposed workers showed reduced flight distance and duration to around a third of what control workers were capable of achieving. Given that bumblebees are central place foragers, impairment to flight endurance could translate to a decline in potential forage area, decreasing the abundance, diversity, and nutritional quality of available food, while potentially diminishing pollination service capabilities.
Issue Date: May-2019
Date of Acceptance: 15-Mar-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/69532
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5143
ISSN: 2045-7758
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 5637
End Page: 5650
Journal / Book Title: Ecology and Evolution
Volume: 9
Issue: 10
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
The Royal Society
Funder's Grant Number: NE/L00755X/1
RG2014 R1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Bombus terrestris audax
flight mill
foraging
Imidacloprid
neonicotinoid
velocity
VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES
HONEY-BEES
NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDE
BOMBUS-TERRESTRIS
OILSEED RAPE
BODY-SIZE
LAND-USE
NICOTINIC RECEPTOR
COLONY PERFORMANCE
LANDSCAPE-SCALE
Bombus terrestris audax
Imidacloprid
flight mill
foraging
neonicotinoid
velocity
0602 Ecology
0603 Evolutionary Biology
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2019-04-29
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



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