On the road: Anthropogenic factors drive the invasion risk of a wild solitary bee speciesLanner, Julia; Dubos, Nicolas; Geslin, Benoit; Leroy, Boris; Hernandez-Castellano, Carlos; Dubaic, Jovana Bila; Bortolotti, Laura; Calafat, Joan Diaz; Cetkovic, Aleksandar; Flaminio, Simone; Le Feon, Violette; Margalef-Marrase, Jordi; Orr, Michael; Pachinger, Baerbel; Ruzzier, Enrico; Smagghe, Guy; Tuerlings, Tina; Vereecken, Nicolas J.; Meimberg, Harald;
Complex biotic networks of invaders and their new environments pose immense challenges for researchers aiming to predict current and future occupancy of introduced species. This might be especially true for invasive bees, as they enter novel trophic interactions. Little attention has been paid to solitary, invasive wild bees, despite their increasing recognition as a potential global threat to biodiversity. Here, we present the first comprehensive species distribution modelling approach targeting the invasive bee Megachile sculpturalis, which is currently undergoing parallel range expansion in North America and Europe. While the species has largely colonised the most highly suitable areas of North America over the past decades, its invasion of Europe seems to be in its early stages. We showed that its current distribution is largely explained by anthropogenic factors, suggesting that its spread is facilitated by road and maritime traffic, largely beyond its intrinsic dispersal ability. Our results suggest that M. sculpturalis is likely to be negatively affected by future climate change in North America, while in Europe the potential suitable areas at-risk of invasion remain equally large. Based on our study, we emphasise the role of expert knowledge for evaluation of ecologically meaningful variables implemented and interpreted for species distribution modelling. We strongly recommend that the monitoring of this and other invasive pollinator species should be prioritised in areas identified as at-risk, alongside development of effective management strategies.
Invasive pollinator; Species distribution modelling; Human-mediated spread; Disturbance effects; Megachile sculpturalis; Direct and indirect drivers of change; in biodiversity
Published inScience of the Total Environment 2022, volume: 827, article number: 154246
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