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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

On the road: Anthropogenic factors drive the invasion risk of a wild solitary bee species

Lanner, 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 in

Science of the Total Environment

2022, volume: 827, article number: 154246
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Lanner, Julia
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Dubos, Nicolas
Universite de Montpellier
Geslin, Benoit
Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD)
Leroy, Boris
UDICE-French Research Universities
Hernandez-Castellano, Carlos
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Dubaic, Jovana Bila
University of Belgrade
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Cetkovic, Aleksandar
University of Belgrade
Margalef-Marrase, Jordi
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Orr, Michael
Institute of Zoology, CAS
Pachinger, Baerbel
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Ruzzier, Enrico
University of Padua
Smagghe, Guy
Ghent University
Tuerlings, Tina
Ghent University
Vereecken, Nicolas J.
Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Meimberg, Harald
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

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