Colonizing the east and the west: distribution and niche properties of a dwarf Asian honey bee invading Africa, the Middle East, the Malay Peninsula, and Taiwan
Species invasions are expected to increase continuously with undeniable impact upon native biodiversity, being an important process in relation to the decline of native pollinators. We used species distribution models and multivariate analyses to assess the climatic niche properties of the red dwarf honey bee, Apis florea Fabricius (Apidae: Apini), an open-nesting species native to southern Asia and parts of the Middle East, currently invading East Africa, Sundaic tropical Southeast Asia (Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore), and East Asia (Taiwan). The species’ niche was relatively conserved, with the climatic conditions in all its invaded range overlapped by those from its native one. Its potential distribution in Africa and the Indomalayan region is broad, with anthropogenic areas likely providing new habitats and dispersal corridors in areas that were formerly too arid or too heavily forested to allow its dispersal. Future studies to evaluate the potential impacts of A. florea in invaded ranges are encouraged.
Keywordsspecies distribution models macroecology invasion process Asia Africa
The authors thank three independent reviewers who provided significant suggestions that considerably improved a previous version of this study.
DPS and MSE conceived this research and designed the experiments; MSE, JSA, JCT, ASA, and MSE provided the data; DPS, ACFC, and BV analyzed the data; and DPS, ACFC, BV, JSA, JCT, ASA, XRO, and MSE wrote the paper.
The International Scientific Partnership Program (ISPP) at King Saud University through ISPP #0083 supported parts of this project. Also, this study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brazil (CAPES), while the compilation of distributional records was supported in part by the National Research Foundation Singapore grant R-154-000-673-651.
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