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Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees [Proceedings of the Royal Society B]

Keywords : Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris, clothianidin, Nosema ceranae, pollination proboscis extension response

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees.(...)

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