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Maria Blasi Romero. Photo.

Maria Blasi Romero


Maria Blasi Romero. Photo.

A model of wild bee populations accounting for spatial heterogeneity and climate-induced temporal variability of food resources at the landscape level


  • Maria Blasi
  • Yann Clough
  • Anna Maria Jönsson
  • Ullrika Sahlin

Summary, in English

The viability of wild bee populations and the pollination services that they provide are driven by the availability of food resources during their activity period and within the surroundings of their nesting sites. Changes in climate and land use influence the availability of these resources and are major threats to declining bee populations. Because wild bees may be vulnerable to interactions between these threats, spatially explicit models of population dynamics that capture how bee populations jointly respond to land use at a landscape scale and weather are needed. Here, we developed a spatially and temporally explicit theoretical model of wild bee populations aiming for a middle ground between the existing mapping of visitation rates using foraging equations and more refined agent-based modeling. The model is developed for Bombus sp. and captures within-season colony dynamics. The model describes mechanistically foraging at the colony level and temporal population dynamics for an average colony at the landscape level. Stages in population dynamics are temperature-dependent triggered by a theoretical generalized seasonal progression, which can be informed by growing degree days. The purpose of the LandscapePhenoBee model is to evaluate the impact of system changes and within-season variability in resources on bee population sizes and crop visitation rates. In a simulation study, we used the model to evaluate the impact of the shortage of food resources in the landscape arising from extreme drought events in different types of landscapes (ranging from different proportions of semi-natural habitats and early and late flowering crops) on bumblebee populations.


  • Biodiversity and Conservation Science
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system

Publishing year





Ecology and Evolution





Document type

Journal article




  • Ecology


  • agricultural landscape
  • drought
  • land-use
  • phenology
  • pollination services
  • wild bees



Research group

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Science


  • ISSN: 2045-7758