Data from: The effect of habitat fragmentation on the bee visitor assemblages of three Australian tropical rainforest tree species
Smith, Tobias J.; Mayfield, Margaret M. (2019), Data from: The effect of habitat fragmentation on the bee visitor assemblages of three Australian tropical rainforest tree species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6db84gg
Tropical forest loss and fragmentation can change bee community dynamics, and potentially interrupt plant-pollinator relationships. While bee community responses to forest fragmentation have been investigated in a number of tropical regions, no studies have focused on this topic in Australia. In this study we examine taxonomic and functional diversity of bees visiting flowers of three tree species across small and large rainforest fragments in Australian tropical landscapes. We found lower taxonomic diversity of bees visiting flowers of trees in small rainforest fragments compared with large forest fragments, and show that bee species in small fragments were subsets of species in larger fragments. Bees visiting trees in small fragments also had higher mean body sizes than those in in larger fragments, suggesting that small-sized bees may be less likely to persist in small fragments. Lastly, we found reductions in the abundance of social stingless bees visiting flowers in small fragments compared to large fragments. These results suggest that pollinator visits to native trees living in small tropical forest remnants may be reduced, which, may in turn impact on a range of processes, potentially including forest regeneration and diversity maintenance in small forest remnants in Australian tropical countryside landscapes.