Diversity of bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae) along a latitudinal gradient in the Atlantic Forest
Keywords:Apoidea, bee assemblages, Neotropical, surveys
AbstractThe Atlantic Forest is one of the most rich and endangered natural environments in the world. It is expected then that this situation would have encouraged the study and conservation of this biome; the Atlantic forest Hymenoptera fauna, however, remains virtually unknown. The bee fauna, for instance, is less studied than that of the Brazilian open areas. The overall ignorance on most of the Atlantic Forest insect faunas based the elaboration of the project "Biodiversity of Hymenoptera and Isoptera: richness and diversity along a latitudinal gradient in the Atlantic Forest - the humid eastern forest of Brazil", within the Biota-Fapesp Program, that aimed to catalog the termites, ants and several wasp families along the Atlantic forest and to publish data that could contribute to the biome conservation. Similar sampling protocols were applied for wasp surveys: the same number of Malaise and pan traps and similar effort on vegetation swapping, along 17 selected localities, representing a gradient of almost 20° of latitude in evergreen pristine Atlantic Forest, from Paraíba to Santa Catarina Brazilian states. These protocols were defined to optimize the collecting of wasps; bees represented a 'secondary product' of the sampling protocol. A sum of 797 specimens representing 105 bee species was sampled; the richest and more abundant bee taxon was the Meliponina. Unfortunately the applied sampling method does not afford comparisons among Atlantic Forest bee assemblages with those of other biomes. The detrended correspondence analysis using only the relative frequencies of Meliponina species revealed a weak correspondence of the stingless bee assemblages' composition with the latitudinal gradient. Despite that, the sampled taxa are possibly restricted to the Atlantic forest and additional data on their distribution deserves to be published. A complete checklist of the sampled bees, their relative frequencies, and the localities where they were recorded is presented and discussed.
How to Cite
Gonçalves, R. B. (2008). Diversity of bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae) along a latitudinal gradient in the Atlantic Forest. Biota Neotropica, 8(4). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/439