Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379084

Research Project: Sustainable Crop Production and Wildland Preservation through the Management, Systematics, and Conservation of a Diversity of Bees

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

Title: From bees to flies: Global shift in pollinator communities along elevation gradients

Author
item McCabe, Lindsie
item COBB, NEIL - Northern Arizona University

Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2020
Publication Date: 1/15/2021
Citation: Mccabe, L.M., Cobb, N.S. 2021. From bees to flies: Global shift in pollinator communities along elevation gradients. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8:626124. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2020.626124.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2020.626124

Interpretive Summary: Bees decrease while files increase along elevation gradients, and flies replace bees as the dominant flower visitors in high elevation systems. We reviewed existing literature to determine if the bee-to-fly transition was a global phenomenon. Here we examined six studies that have documented this bee-to-fly transition hypothesis in the United States, Europe and Australia. For each study we determined where the bee-to-fly transition occurred along a temperature/elevation gradient that ranged from 1.1 to 8.3°C. We found that pollinator communities shifted from bee dominated to fly dominated communities between 4.9 – 5.7 °C on all elevations gradients around the globe.

Technical Abstract: Bees are thought to decrease in abundance and richness along elevation gradients, while flies, replace bees as the dominant flower visitors at higher elevation systems. As part of our research to document this pattern along an elevation gradient in Arizona, we reviewed the existing literature to determine if this was a global phenomenon. Here we examined six studies that have documented this bee-to-fly transition hypothesis in the United States, Europe and Australia. For each study we determined where the bee-to-fly transition occurred along a temperature/elevation gradient that ranged from 1.1 to 8.3°C. We found that pollinator communities shifted from bee dominated to fly dominated communities between 4.9 – 5.7 °C on all elevations gradients around the globe.