Diversity matters: how bees benefit from different resin sources

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Nora Drescher
  • Helen M. Wallace
  • Mohammad Katouli
  • Carmelina F. Massaro
  • Sara Leonhardt

Biodiverse environments provide a variety of resources that can be exploited by consumers. While many studies revealed a positive correlation between biodiversity and consumer biomass and richness, only few studies have investigated how resource diversity affects single consumers. To better understand whether a single consumer species benefits from diverse resources, we tested how the protective function of a defensive plant resource (i.e. resin exploited by social bees) varied among different sources and target organisms (predators, parasites and pathogens). To assess synergistic effects, resins from different plant genera were tested separately and in combination. We found that resin diversity is beneficial for bees, with its functional properties depending on the target organisms, type and composition of resin. Different resins showed different effects, and mixtures were more effective than some of the single resins (functional complementarity). We conclude that resins of different plant species target different organisms and act synergistically where combined. Bees that rely on resin for protection benefit more when they have access to diverse resin sources. Loss of biodiversity may in turn destabilize consumer populations due to restricted access to a variety of resources.

Seiten (von - bis)943-953
Anzahl der Seiten11
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 12.2014