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Universidade de São Paulo (2013)

Adaptações comportamentais de Melipona subnitida (Apidae, Meliponini) às condições ambientais do semiárido brasileiro

Silva, Camila Maia da

Titre : Adaptações comportamentais de Melipona subnitida (Apidae, Meliponini) às condições ambientais do semiárido brasileiro

Behavioural adaptations of Melipona subnitida (Apidae, Meliponini) to environmental conditions of the Brazilian semiarid region

Auteur : Silva, Camila Maia da

Université de soutenance : Universidade de São Paulo

Grade : Doutorado 2013

Résumé
For a profound understanding of behavioural adaptations of stingless bee species to certain environmental conditions, studies are necessary that aim at evaluating the influence of biotic (availability of floral resources and competition) and abiotic factors (climatic variables) on colony-external activities (pollen foraging) as well as colony-internal activities (brood cell-construction). We investigated the behavioural responses of Melipona subnitida Ducke (Apidae, Meliponini) to the environmental conditions of the Caatinga, a biome in the Brazilian North-East characterized by elevated ambient temperatures and extended dry periods. The experiments were performed in the surroundings of Mossoró/RN, Brazil, which is considered one of the 26 priority areas concerning the conservation of the Caatinga. In the study area, we found important pollen and nectar sources for bees, including tree species of fundamental importance for colony maintenance during the dry season. The foragers of M. subnitida collected large quantities of pollen during a short period during the day and a short period in the course of the year, concentrating their foraging efforts predominantly at highly rewarding resources. Given that the offer of pollen within the nest directly influences brood production, the observed reduction of brood cell-construction during the hot and dry season suggests an important mechanism for economizing the stored pollen, which guarantees the survival of the colony during extended periods of dearth. Modeling future distribution of the species, we identified a potential deficit of food resources for M. subnitida in the next decades. Using the results of our study, we discussed the main strategies for the conservation of this stingless bee species in the semiarid region of the Brazilian Northeast.

Mots clés : Abelhas sem ferrão Caatinga Conservação Forrageamento de pólen Mudanças Climáticas Climate Change Conservation Pollen foraging Stingless bees

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