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The potential impact of the Large Earth Bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Apidae) on the Australian mainland: lessons from Tasmania

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Hingston, AB (2007) The potential impact of the Large Earth Bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Apidae) on the Australian mainland: lessons from Tasmania. The Victorian Naturalist, 124 (2). pp. 110-117. ISSN 0042-5184

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Abstract

The Large Earth Bumblebee Bombus terrestris (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is an invasive species that has not yet established on the Australian mainland. However, a feral population was discovered in Tasmania in 1992 and applications have been made to import the species to the Australian mainland for pollination of crops inside greenhouses. The introduction of B. terrestris to the Australian mainland for pollination of greenhouse crops poses a potential threat to Australia's biodiversity because: (1) B. terrestris is likely to escape from captivity and form feral populations in the wild across a large area; (2) B. terrestris forages on many species of native and introduced plants and has spread rapidly throughout all major native vegetation types in Tasmania; (3) B. terrestris is able to reduce the amounts of nectar available to other animals by foraging at lower temperatures than other bees; and (4) the effectiveness of B. terrestris as a pollinator sometimes differs from that of other animals. Recent research suggests that B. terrestris is reducing reproductive success in an endangered species of bird in Tasmania by reducing nectar availability, and several species of introduced plants have become more invasive in Tasmania since B. terrestris arrived there.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: The Victorian Naturalist
Publisher: The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria Inc.
Page Range: pp. 110-117
ISSN: 0042-5184
Additional Information:

Copyright 2007 The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria Inc.

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:20
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:34
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