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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Distribution of bumblebees across europe

Polce, C.; Maes, J.; Rotllan-Puig, X.; Michez, D.; Castro, L.; Cederberg, B.; Dvorak, L.; Fitzpatrick, Ú.; Francis, F.; Neumayer, J.; Manino, A.; Paukkunen, J.; Pawlikowski, T.; Roberts, S.P.M.; Straka, J.; Rasmont, P.


Insect pollinators are a key component of biodiversity; they also play a major role in the reproduction of many species of wild plants and crops. It is widely acknowledged that insect pollinators are threatened by many environmental pressures, mostly of anthropogenic nature. Their decline is a global phenomenon. A better understanding of their distribution can help their monitoring and ultimately facilitate conservation actions. Since we only have partial knowledge of where pollinator species occur, the possibility to predict suitable environmental conditions from scattered species records can facilitate not only species monitoring, but also the identification of areas potentially vulnerable to pollinators decline. This data paper contains the predicted distribution of 47 species of bumblebees across the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU-28). Amongst the wild pollinators, bumblebees are one of the major groups contributing to the production of many crop species, hence their decline in Europe, North America and Asia can potentially threaten food security. Predictions were derived from distribution models, using species records with a spatial resolution of 10 km accessed from a central repository. Predictions were based on records from 1991 to 2012 and on a series of spatial environmental predictors from three main thematic areas: land use and land cover, climate and topography. These distributions were used to estimate the value of pollination as an ecosystem service. In light of the recent European Pollinators Initiative, this paper provides valuable information for a better understanding of where wild pollinators occur and it should be extended to other pollinator species.


Bombus; Europe; Insect pollinators; Maxent; Species distribution model

Published in

One Ecosystem
2018, Volume: 3, article number: e28143
Publisher: Pensoft Publishers

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