The mechanism of species coexistence is an important theme of biology. Co-occurring similar species are thought to experience strong competition for limited resources. In order to avoid competition and coexist, each animal species often uses different resources. This is called niche differentiation.
Bumblebee species are biologically, morphologically very similar. They forage on nectar and pollen, nest in the ground, have hairy chubby body. However, they show differences in tongue length, and this enables them to use different floral resources. Although many studies showed niche differentiation by tongue length, some failed to find out niche differentiation.
The level of niche overlap may depend on the resource availability. In this study, we aim to reveal the differences of the bumblebee niche overlap level between urban and montane forests, between seasons. For this goal, we monitored floral phenology and collected body pollen and pollen loads from foraging bumblebees in the field.
In this seminar, I'd like to show directions of future analysis.