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Vulnerability of island insect pollinator communities to pathogens

Brettell, Laura, Martin, Stephen J, Riegler, Markus and Cook, James M (2021) 'Vulnerability of island insect pollinator communities to pathogens'. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, Vol 186, p. 107670.

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Island ecosystems, which often contain undescribed insects and small populations of single island endemics, are at risk from diverse threats. The spread of pathogens is a major factor affecting not just pollinator species themselves, but also posing significant knock-on effects to often fragile island ecosystems through disruption of pollination networks. Insects are vulnerable to diverse pathogens and these can be introduced to islands in a number of ways, e.g. via the introduction of infected managed pollinator hosts (e.g. honey bees and their viruses, in particular Deformed wing virus), long-range migrants (e.g. monarch butterflies and their protozoan parasite, Ophryocystit elektroscirrha) and invasive species (e.g. social wasps are common invaders and are frequently infected with multi-host viruses such as Kashmir bee virus and Moku virus). Furthermore, these introductions can negatively affect island ecosystems through outcompeting native taxa for resources. As such, the greatest threat to island pollinator communities is not one particular pathogen, but the combination of pathogens and introduced and invasive insects that will likely carry them.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 650 Insect vectors
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mel Finley
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2021 16:59
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2022 01:02

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