Multiple recent introductions of apid bees into Pacific archipelagos signify potentially large consequences for both agriculture and indigenous ecosystems

Scott Groom, Hien Ngo, Sandra Rehan, Posa Skelton, Mark Stevens, Michael Schwarz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The islands of the south west Pacific (SWP) are highly biodiverse, yet records of their bee fauna suggest a region depauperate of a key pollinator suite. Studies of the bees of Fiji based on molecular data have revealed a recent origin with the majority of species having arrived since the last glacial maximum or introduced since human colonization. Here we use DNA barcodes to provide the first detailed account of Apidae bees from Vanuatu, Fiji, and Samoa. We show that most if not all species in these archipelagos have been recently introduced from Australia and south east Asia, with a further species introduced from the New World. Some of these species have become regionally abundant and we discuss the potential impact of introduced pollinators on endemic plant–pollinator associations. Given the wide-reaching role of native pollinators in island systems, yet lack of understanding of SWP pollinator suites, our study highlights the urgent need for more detailed pollinator research in the region.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2293-2302
    Number of pages10
    JournalBiological Invasions
    Volume16
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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