Research press release


Nature Ecology & Evolution

Ecology: Diversity helps reduce the spread of bee diseases

ハチの種数と花の数が多いと送粉者群集内の寄生虫の蔓延が抑制されることを明らかにした論文が、今週、Nature Ecology & Evolution に掲載される。


今回、Peter Graystockたちの研究チームは、米国ニューヨーク州北部の休耕地3か所で、1回の生育期の全体を通じて110種のハチと89種の花の多様性および個体数を調べ、ハチに多い5種類の寄生虫の存在状況を分子スクリーニングで評価した。5000点を超える花とハチをスクリーニングした結果、ハチ種の42%と花種の70%が、少なくとも1種の寄生虫を保有していたことが明らかになった。また、ハチの寄生虫保有率は、ハチの多様性が最も高く、ミツバチやマルハナバチなどの一般的な社会性種が比較的少ない生育期前半に最も低かった。逆に、花の寄生虫保有率は、花の数が比較的多い生育期後半に最も低かった。


The prevalence of parasites within pollinator communities is reduced when there are more bee species and a greater abundance of flowers, reports a study published this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Declines in insect groups such as bees are a major concern because of the pollination services they provide. Increasing the number of flowers may improve bee health, but flowers can also act as transmission hubs for bee diseases. However, little is known about how infection risk changes over time, particularly across entire bee-flower communities.

Peter Graystock and colleagues characterized the diversity and abundance of 110 bee species and 89 flower species over the course of one growing season in three old-field sites in upstate New York, and measured the presence of five common bee parasites using molecular screening. After screening more than 5,000 flowers and bees, the authors found that 42% of bee species and 70% of flower species harboured at least one parasite species. However, the prevalence of parasites in bees was lowest early in the season, when bee diversity was highest and there were fewer common social species like honeybees and bumblebees. In contrast, the prevalence of parasites on flowers was lowest late in the season when there greater numbers of flowers.

These findings suggest that increasing the diversity of bee species and the number of flowers in natural communities may improve pollinator health by diluting the transmission of disease.

doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-1247-x

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