Global taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity of bees in apple orchards

N. Leclercq*, L. Marshall, T. Weekers, P. Basu, D. Benda, D. Bevk, R. Bhattacharya, P. Bogusch, A. Bontšutšnaja, L. Bortolotti, N. Cabirol, E. Calderón-Uraga, R. Carvalho, S. Castro, S. Chatterjee, M. De La Cruz Alquicira, J. R. de Miranda, T. Dirilgen, A. Dorchin, K. DorjiB. Drepper, S. Flaminio, J. Gailis, M. Galloni, H. Gaspar, M. W. Gikungu, B. A. Hatteland, I. Hinojosa-Diaz, L. Hostinská, B. G. Howlett, K. L.J. Hung, L. Hutchinson, R. O. Jesus, N. Karklina, M. S. Khan, J. Loureiro, X. Men, J. M. Molenberg, S. Mudri-Stojnić, P. Nikolic, E. Normandin, J. Osterman, F. Ouyang, A. S. Oygarden, L. Ozolina-Pole, N. Ozols, A. Parra Saldivar, R. J. Paxton, T. Pitts-Singer, K. Poveda, K. Prendergast, M. Quaranta, S. F.J. Read, S. Reinhardt, M. Rojas-Oropeza, C. Ruiz, M. Rundlöf, A. Sade, C. Sandberg, F. Sgolastra, S. F. Shah, M. A. Shebl, V. Soon, D. A. Stanley, J. Straka, P. Theodorou, E. Tobajas, J. L. Vaca-Uribe, A. Vera, C. A. Villagra, M. K. Williams, M. Wolowski, T. J. Wood, Z. Yan, Q. Zhang, N. J. Vereecken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An essential prerequisite to safeguard pollinator species is characterisation of the multifaceted diversity of crop pollinators and identification of the drivers of pollinator community changes across biogeographical gradients. The extent to which intensive agriculture is associated with the homogenisation of biological communities at large spatial scales remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated diversity drivers for 644 bee species/morphospecies in 177 commercial apple orchards across 33 countries and four global biogeographical biomes. Our findings reveal significant taxonomic dissimilarity among biogeographical zones. Interestingly, despite this dissimilarity, species from different zones share similar higher-level phylogenetic groups and similar ecological and behavioural traits (i.e. functional traits), likely due to habitat filtering caused by perennial monoculture systems managed intensively for crop production. Honey bee species dominated orchard communities, while other managed/manageable and wild species were collected in lower numbers. Moreover, the presence of herbaceous, uncultivated open areas and organic management practices were associated with increased wild bee diversity. Overall, our study sheds light on the importance of large-scale analyses contributing to the emerging fields of functional and phylogenetic diversity, which can be related to ecosystem function to promote biodiversity as a key asset in agroecosystems in the face of global change pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165933
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2023


  • Apple pollination
  • Biodiversity–agroecosystem functioning
  • Biogeographical zones
  • Biotic homogenisation
  • Crop production
  • Pollinators


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