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Data from: Desynchronizations in bee-plant interactions cause severe fitness losses in solitary bees

Citation

Schenk, Mariela; Krauss, Jochen; Holzschuh, Andrea (2018), Data from: Desynchronizations in bee-plant interactions cause severe fitness losses in solitary bees, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rm317

Abstract

1. Global warming can disrupt mutualistic interactions between solitary bees and plants when increasing temperature differentially changes the timing of interacting partners. One possible scenario is for insect phenology to advance more rapidly than plant phenology. 2. However, empirical evidence for fitness consequences due to temporal mismatches is lacking for pollinators and it remains unknown if bees have developed strategies to mitigate fitness losses following temporal mismatches. 3. We tested the effect of temporal mismatches on the fitness of three spring-emerging solitary bee species, including one pollen specialist. Using flight cages, we simulated (i) a perfect synchronization (from a bee perspective): bees and flowers occur simultaneously, (ii) a mismatch of three days and (iii) a mismatch of six days, with bees occurring earlier than flowers in the latter two cases. 4. A mismatch of six days caused severe fitness losses in all three bee species, as few bees survived without flowers. Females showed strongly reduced activity and reproductive output compared to synchronized bees. Fitness consequences of a three day mismatch were species-specific. Both the early-spring species Osmia cornuta and the mid-spring species Osmia bicornis produced the same number of brood cells after a mismatch of three days as under perfect synchronization. However, O. cornuta decreased the number of female offspring, whereas O. bicornis spread the brood cells over fewer nests, which may increase offspring mortality e.g. due to parasitoids. The late-spring specialist Osmia brevicornis produced fewer brood cells even after a mismatch of three days. Additionally, our results suggest that fitness losses after temporal mismatches are higher during warm than cold springs, as the naturally occurring temperature variability revealed that warm temperatures during starvation decreased the survival rate of O. bicornis. 5. We conclude that short temporal mismatches can cause clear fitness losses in solitary bees. Although our results suggest that bees have evolved species-specific strategies to mitigate fitness losses after temporal mismatches, the bees were not able to completely compensate for impacts on their fitness after temporal mismatches with their food resources.

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