Two years ago I started this blog with the intention to report as often as possible on news in the field of DNA Barcoding and biodiversity science. Who would have thought that this blog survives 2 years? The vast majority of bloggers give up within the first year of blogging but not this one. This is post number 416 and the audience is still growing, e.g. a few days ago the blog broke through the magic number of 100 000 unique all time visits.
As long as people out there are interested in what I have to say I will certainly continue. However, I know exactly that I could not have done it without the support of all the people who read my posts, share my blog with others, and provide me with new ideas. So, a big THANK YOU to all readers for making this possible.
By the way, looking for an interesting read? How about bee diversity along a gradient of urbanization?
More than 900 species of wild bees are found in France alone, but many of them are in decline. French colleagues have carried out a comprehensive study to evaluate the impact of urbanization on wild bee communities. They studied 24 more or less urbanized sites in and around the city of Lyon and recorded a total of 291 different bee species. Although bee abundance decreased with the level of urbanization, most species were found in periurban areas, and about 60 species lived at the most urban site:
Overall, our results suggest that urbanized sites can provide forage and nesting resources for a large community of wild bee species, even if the landscapes with an intermediate proportion of impervious surface have a more diverse and abundant bee fauna. Flagship species are defined as ‘known charismatic species that serve as a symbol or focus point to raise environmental consciousness’. Although their individual species may be difficult to identify, bees can collectively be considered as a flagship group of species and used to raise the awareness of city-dwellers to biodiversity, as we observed in this study (http://www.urbanbees.eu). Indeed, the loss of a charismatic species can affect people more than the loss of habitat, even when the loss of habitat is the very threat to the species. Also, because bees are a key group of pollinators worldwide for both wild and cultivated entomophilous plants, bees can be readily used to illustrate the importance of ecosystem services, ecosystem functions and natural capital. Focusing public attention on city-dwelling species such as wild bees provides great opportunities to demonstrate the importance of conservation to society. The perception of wildlife by society is crucial for effective conservation of biodiversity, and, since today 74% of the Europe's population lives in cities, it is both essential and urgent to raise the awareness of urban citizens on the importance for biodiversity conservation.