The interplay of climate and land use change affects the distribution of EU bumblebees

Leon Marshall, Jacobus C. Biesmeijer, Pierre Rasmont, Nicolas J. Vereecken, Libor Dvorak, Una Fitzpatrick, Frédéric Francis, Johann Neumayer, Frode Ødegaard, Juho P.T. Paukkunen, Tadeusz Pawlikowski, Menno Reemer, Stuart P.M. Roberts, Jakub Straka, Sarah Vray, Nicolas Dendoncker

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Abstract

Bumblebees in Europe have been in steady decline since the 1900s. This decline is expected to continue with climate change as the main driver. However, at the local scale, land use and land cover (LULC) change strongly affects the occurrence of bumblebees. At present, LULC change is rarely included in models of future distributions of species. This study's objective is to compare the roles of dynamic LULC change and climate change on the projected distribution patterns of 48 European bumblebee species for three change scenarios until 2100 at the scales of Europe, and Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg (BENELUX). We compared three types of models: (1) only climate covariates, (2) climate and static LULC covariates and (3) climate and dynamic LULC covariates. The climate and LULC change scenarios used in the models include, extreme growth applied strategy (GRAS), business as might be usual and sustainable European development goals. We analysed model performance, range gain/loss and the shift in range limits for all bumblebees. Overall, model performance improved with the introduction of LULC covariates. Dynamic models projected less range loss and gain than climate-only projections, and greater range loss and gain than static models. Overall, there is considerable variation in species responses and effects were most pronounced at the BENELUX scale. The majority of species were predicted to lose considerable range, particularly under the extreme growth scenario (GRAS; overall mean: 64% ± 34). Model simulations project a number of local extinctions and considerable range loss at the BENELUX scale (overall mean: 56% ± 39). Therefore, we recommend species-specific modelling to understand how LULC and climate interact in future modelling. The efficacy of dynamic LULC change should improve with higher thematic and spatial resolution. Nevertheless, current broad scale representations of change in major land use classes impact modelled future distribution patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Biodiversity loss
  • Dynamic
  • Future
  • Land use change scenarios
  • Pollinators
  • Projections
  • Species distribution models (SDMs)
  • Wild bees

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