Fine-scale genetic structure and fire-created habitat patchiness in the Australian allodapine bee, Exoneura nigrescens (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Adam Stow*, Letitia Silberbauer, Andrew J. Beattie, David A. Briscoe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Fire promotes an abundance of nest sites for the stem nesting bee Exoneura nigrescens, which remain viable for approximately 10 years. The finite duration of nesting substrate and localized fire events suggest that migration should minimize genetic structure among suitable habitat patches. Exoneura nigrescens was sampled from 7 localities with a known fire history in southwestern Victoria, Australia. Individual bees were genotyped at 8 microsatellite loci and genic and genotypic analyses applied to examine genetic structure among burn patch localities, within burn patches, and within colonies. Despite relatively short-term availability of nesting substrates, remarkably fine-scale genetic structure was observed both among burn patches and within burn patches. The spatial distribution of relatedness shows a strong pattern of isolation-by-distance at geographic distances to 35 km, suggesting that genetic partitioning among burn patches is, at least in part, a result of dispersal ability. Genetic structure within burn patches includes colonies consisting of close kin with genic partitioning among nests. Relatedness structure within colonies suggests that polygamy, multiple breeding pairs, and a lack of inbreeding typifies the mating system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

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Copyright The American Genetic Association. 2006. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:

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