Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (2): 203-208, 2010 | 10.14411/eje.2010.027

Does climate influence phenological trends in social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespinae) in Poland?

Piotr TRYJANOWSKI1, Tadeusz PAWLIKOWSKI2, Krzysztof PAWLIKOWSKI3, Weronika BANASZAK-CIBICKA1, Tim H. SPARKS*,1
1 Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Science, Wojska Polskiego 71C, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
2 Institute of Ecology & Environmental Protection, Copernicus University, 9 Gagarina Str., 87-100 Toruń, Poland
3 Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia, Department of Fisheries Oceanography and Marine Ecology, 1 Koįį±taja Str., 81-332 Gdynia, Poland

Responses of insects to recent climate change have been well documented in a number of taxa, but not in wasps. This study examined shifts in phenology of the two most important wasp species (Vespa crabro and Vespula germanica) in Poland over the last three decades. Both species showed similar temporal trends, advancing their phenology after the early 1980s, but this pattern was detected only for workers not for the appearance of queens. The appearance times for V. germanica were negatively related to mean April temperature, appearing earlier in years with warmer springs, and positively related to precipitation in April. The studied species advanced aspects of their phenology, but linking this to temperature was not achieved for V. crabro suggesting that we have to pay more attention to the life history traits of the study organisms.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Vespinae, Vespa crabro, Vespula germanica, German wasp, hornet, appearance date, climate change, long-term study, temperature, social insects, Poland

Received: October 26, 2009; Accepted: December 17, 2009; Published: April 15, 2010

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