It’s tough to study how climate change disrupts interactions among species. Many interactions, like those between predators and prey, are typically hidden from view. However, creative use of citizen science can provide insight into these hidden interactions. In a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers used online and virtual reality games played by volunteers and analyses of long-term citizen science field observations to explore changes in relationships between stinging bees and wasps, stingless hoverflies that mimic bees and wasps, and bird predators that like to eat hoverflies but avoid bees and wasps.
These scientists found that a warming climate is changing the relationships among the stinging bees and wasps, mimic hoverflies, and bird predators, likely to the benefit of bees, wasps, and birds.
Follow the links below for the paper by Hassall et al. and our associated commentary.
Hassall et al. 2018. Climate-induced phenological shifts in a Batesian mimicry complex. PNAS
Miller-Rushing et al. 2018. Creative citizen science illuminates complex ecological responses to climate change. PNAS