Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract Full Text

Evaluation of reproductive disturbance to Chinese bumblebees by the European bumblebee, Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).


Aim: Alien species may interfere with the normal reproduction of the closely related native species through mating competition. Although the European bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, is the most widely used pollinator in the world, it has caused biological invasion in many countries. This study aims to elucidate the possibility of reproductive disturbance to some Chinese bumblebees by B. terrestris. Methods: The components of male cephalic labial gland secretions of B. terrestris and nine native bumblebee species in China were detected using gas chromatography-quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-Q-TOF/MS), and the data were subjected to cluster analysis. The effects of male B. terrestris on the mating of the most important native bumblebee species under controlled environment were compared. Results: The results showed that the GC-MS chromatograms of male cephalic labial gland secretions were unanimous within a bumblebee species, but significantly different between different bumblebee species. The components of male cephalic labial gland secretions of both B. lantschouensis and B. ignitus were similar to that of B. terrestris with 49.23% and 58.49% identity, respectively. The male of B. terrestris could mate with the queen of B. lantschouensis and significantly decreased the mating success of the latter (P<0.01). Conclusion: It is concluded that the European bumblebee, B. terrestris, can interfere with the normal mating and has a high risk of reproductive disturbance to some local bumblebee species of China. In order to protect the local bumblebee resources and ecosystem balance from biological invasion, alien bumblebee species should be cautiously used in China.