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Spatio-temporal dynamics of bumblebee nest parasites (Bombus subgenus Psythirus ssp.) and their hosts
 

Summary: Spatio-temporal dynamics of bumblebee nest parasites
(Bombus subgenus Psythirus ssp.) and their hosts
(Bombus spp.)
Janis Antonovics1
* and Mike Edwards2
1
Biology Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA; and 2
Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording
Society, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9LB, UK
Summary
1. A 39-year bumblebee data base was used to study the codistribution of six cuckoo bumblebees
in the subgenus Psythirus of Bombus (hereafter called Psythirus) and their free-living bumblebee
hosts in the British Isles.
2. A model of nest parasitism predicted host threshold densities and stable deterministic dynamics,
with fluctuations only emerging as a result of environmental or demographic stochasticity.
3. Standardized transects indicated that variation in total number of records could be largely
attributed to variation in observer effort; analyses were therefore carried out using relative abun-
dance.
4. Spatially, parasite-free zones were evident in areas of low host abundance, but the host thresh-
old for parasite presence differed among species and locations.

  

Source: Antonovics, Janis - Department of Biology, University of Virginia

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine