Data from: Pattern of population structuring between Belgian and Estonian bumblebees
Maebe, Kevin et al. (2019), Data from: Pattern of population structuring between Belgian and Estonian bumblebees, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p57v3b3
Several population genetic studies investigated the extent of gene flow and population connectivity in bumblebees. In general, no restriction in gene flow is considered for mainland populations of common bumblebee species. Whether this assumption holds true for all species is not known. An assessment of bumblebee genetic structure in the context of their geographic distribution is needed to prioritize conservation and management needs. Here, we conducted a genetic study on seven bumblebee species occurring in Belgium and Estonia. Using 16 microsatellite markers, we investigated genetic diversity and population structuring in each species. This is the first study investigating population structuring of both declining and stable bumblebee species on both small and large geographic scales. Our results showed no or only low population structuring between the populations of the restricted and declining bumblebee species on both scales, while significant structuring was found for populations of the common species on the larger scale. The latter result, which may be due to human or environmental changes in the landscape, implies the need for the conservation of also widespread bumblebee species. Conservation strategies to improve gene flow and connectivity of populations could avoid the isolation and future losses of populations of these important species.