September 26, 2022

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Climate stress causes asymmetry of wings in bees and bees |  the animals

Climate stress causes asymmetry of wings in bees and bees | the animals

Researchers examining museum specimens found that bumblebees and bumblebees have been under increasing stress due to climate change over the past century.

Bees develop asymmetric wings when exposed to stress as they grow, and by studying a series of preserved specimens and their dates, the scientists found that bees showed more asymmetric wings in warmer and wetter years.

“Our goal is to better understand responses to specific environmental factors and learn from the past to predict the future,” said Dr. Andres Ars, author of the scientific paper. “We want to anticipate where and when bumblebees are most vulnerable so that we can take effective protection measures afterward.”

Dr Richard Gill, from Imperial College London and one of the authors, said bumblebees “could have a tough time in the 21st century” because they would “get hotter and wetter” and climate change would put bees under more stress.

In recent years, the number of bumblebees has decreased in many areas.

bees 100 years ago

A second study, published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, used commonly used DNA methods to examine the remains of ancient humans or woolly mammoths. This was the first time this technique had been applied to a group of insects.

The researchers used one leg from each preserved bumblebee to note differences between specimens now and those more than 100 years ago. According to the authors, these advances will allow researchers to explore how stress can lead to a loss of genetic diversity.

Dr. Victoria Mullen, of the Natural History Museum, said: “Insect collections in museums offer an unparalleled opportunity to directly study how insects are affected over time by environmental changes. However, they are a limited resource and it is important that we understand how best to use them in genetic studies.”

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The team will now use the data to examine how bee genes have changed over time, and to analyze how entire populations have adapted – or not – to changing climates.