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dc.contributor.authorMacIvor, Scott
dc.contributor.authorMoore, Andrew E.
dc.identifier.citationMacIvor, J. S., and A. E. Moore. 2013. Bees collect polyurethane and polyethylene plastics as novel nest materials. Ecosphere 4(12):155.
dc.description.abstractPlastic waste pervades the global landscape. Although adverse impacts on both species and ecosystems have been documented, there are few observations of behavioral flexibility and adaptation in species, especially insects, to increasingly plastic-rich environments. Here, two species of megachilid bee are described independently using different types of polyurethane and polyethylene plastics in place of natural materials to construct and close brood cells in nests containing successfully emerging brood. The plastics collected by each bee species resembled the natural materials usually sought; Megachile rotundata, which uses cut plant leaves, was found constructing brood cells out of cut pieces of polyethylene-based plastic bags, and Megachile campanulae, which uses plant and tree resins, had brood cells constructed out of a polyurethane-based exterior building sealant. Although perhaps incidentally collected, the novel use of plastics in the nests of bees could reflect ecologically adaptive traits necessary for survival in an increasingly human-dominated environment.
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank Dr. Laurence Packer, Sheila Dumesh, Bahar Salehi and Erik Glemser for comments and discussion for the manuscript. Funding was provided by Dr. Packer’s NSERC Discovery Grant and an NSERC-CGS awarded to the first author. J. S. MacIvor conceived and implemented the study, found the bee nests and reared the larvae. A. E. Moore analyzed the M. campanulae cells. J. S. MacIvor compiled and wrote the manuscript, A. E. Moore collaborated on the methods. A. E. Moore provided the graphs for the figures. J. S. MacIvor imaged the brood cells. Both authors critically revised the manuscript and approved it for publication. Publication was made possible by the York University Libraries' Open Access Author Funden
dc.publisherEcological Society of Americaen
dc.publisherEcological Society of Americaen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesYork University Libraries' Open Access Author Fund
dc.subjectAdaptive behavioren
dc.subjectCavity-nesting beeen
dc.subjectMegachile campanulaeen
dc.subjectMegachile rotundataen
dc.subjectMegachilid beesen
dc.subjectNest boxen
dc.subjectPolyethylene-based plastic bagsen
dc.subjectPolyurethane-based exterior house sealanten
dc.subjectToronto, ontario, canadaen
dc.subjectTrap nesten
dc.subjectAdaptive behavioren_US
dc.subjectCavity-nesting beeen_US
dc.subjectMegachile campanulaeen_US
dc.subjectMegachile rotundataen_US
dc.subjectMegachilid beesen_US
dc.subjectNest boxen_US
dc.subjectPolyethylene-based plastic bagsen_US
dc.subjectPolyurethane-based exterior house sealanten_US
dc.subjectToronto, ontario, canadaen_US
dc.subjectTrap nesten_US
dc.subjectUrban environmenten_US
dc.titleBees collect polyurethane and polyethylene plastics as novel nest materialsen

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