Bee richness and abundance in an altitudinal gradient of 1,250 meters in San Antonio de Oriente, Honduras
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Zamorano: Escuela Agrícola Panamericana
Bees are critically important due to the pollination services they provide, and the commercial products obtained by their cultivation. However, there has been a severe decline of their populations, which can be attributed to anthropogenic activity like the use of agrochemicals and may be exacerbated by the effects of climate change. The present investigation uses altitudinal gradients to evaluate the effect the rise of global temperatures may have in the richness and abundance of bee species. This was done during a period of 11 months where a total of 393 bees were collected, belonging to 64 morphospecies. A direct correlation between richness and abundance was found, and an inversely proportional relation was found between elevation and richness as well as elevation and abundance. Precipitation was found to have an influence in the abundance of bees, with less bees during dry season (p = 0.0067), while seasonality influenced their richness (p = 0.0146), obtaining higher richness during dry season. Results suggest that the main factor that affects bee richness and abundance is not elevation but other variables such as agricultural intervention and habitat. Further action for the preservation of biodiversity in agriculture should be taken, especially in the case of agrochemical use. Sustainable agricultural systems like that of the Zamorano agroecological farm should be expanded and promoted to adapt to climate change and preserve biodiversity.
Abundance, altitudinal gradient, biodiversity, richness, seasonality