Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Habitat suitability for the invasion of Bombus terrestris in East Asian countries: a case study of spatial overlap with local Chinese bumblebees.

Abstract

Invasive species such as Bombus terrestris represent a severe threat that can result in the decline of local biodiversity. We examined the habitat suitability for B. terrestris invasion in East Asian countries and the risk of habitat overlap with 24 bumblebee species from different groups in China. All East Asian countries were predicted to be susceptible to invasion by B. terrestris, with the highest habitat suitability occurring in China followed by Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Mongolia. Within China, which is a global biodiversity hotspot for bumblebees, three different regions, north-west, central to south-east and north-east, were predicted as being highly suitable for invasion. In China, the group of species closely related to B. terrestris showed higher sensitivity (89%) to habitat overlap with B. terrestris than did the group of non-closely related species (73%). The risk of overlap for the three major regional bumblebees within China decreased in the order southern region, northern region and Tibetan Plateau region. Due to the sensitivity of habitat suitability and overlap, the use of the introduced European bumblebee B. terrestris for pollination services should be discouraged in regions with overlapping habitats in China, and management strategies should be implemented to conserve the vulnerable bumblebees in all East Asian countries.