Integration of biodiversity data of wild bee-plant interactions in Mexico

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Augochlora nigrocyanea
Augochlora nigrocyanea Cockerell, 1897 observed in Yucatán, Mexico by protosaurio (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Mexico’s National Biodiversity Information System (SNIB) identifies 1,740 species of wild bees. While 95 per cent of those have geographic records and other relevant information, ecological data about interacting plants are scarce and fragmented. Increasing our knowledge about their role as pollinators is crucial to maintaining ecosystem functions and the sustainability of many crops (e.g., chile, tomato, coffee, avocado).

This project aims to mobilize and integrate information about the interactions between Mexican wild bees and host plants (wild and cultivated) by:

  • proposing a data model for the monitoring of these interactions through the national (SNIB) and international (GBIF) platforms, maximizing the use of the available fields in the DarwinCore and GBIF extensions,
  • promoting the registration and collective verification (taxonomic and ecological) of the wild bee-plant interactions,
  • consolidating a rigorous and dynamic source of information for the study, management, and conservation of pollination, and
  • transferring the information between at least five institutions in the federal, academic and agricultural spheres.

To achieve the objectives, the project will compile and curate data from different sources of information (e.g., papers, taxonomy monographs, thesis, biodiversity databases, and biological collections), integrating

  1. occurrence data of wild bees and host plants;
  2. records of wild bee-plant interactions; and
  3. primary ecological information (morphological and ecological traits) of at least 400 species of three target families of wild bees and at least 200 species of their host plants (between 50 – 100 genera)—representing around 10,000 occurrences from the 60 per cent of Mexican ecosystems.

Project progress

The project is progressing as planned, and the following objectives have been achieved up to date:

  • The data model for the integration of the ecological information about the wild bee-plant interactions in Mexico is finished
  • The data model was designed with feedback received from potential model users who participated in the first workshop named “Towards to a data model for monitoring, management, and conservation of the pollination by wild bees in Mexico” (Spanish name: “Hacia un modelo de información para el monitoreo, manejo y conservación de la polinización por abejas nativas en México”)
  • Integration of information for data sets began from the sources proposed by the project (Naturalista, Literature and biological collections)
  • To data model deployment, the project agreement four specialists (two wild bees’ taxonomists, one plant taxonomist and one ecologist specialists)
  • One of the team members received the GBIF certification in Data Mobilization
  • The first dataset is published, obtained from the Naturalista platform. The last product contains metadata, 1716 occurrences for 265 taxa of the wild bee host plant, one table with ecomorphological traits data for 881 plant occurrences, and a table with ecological information about the wild bee-plant interactions.

The project was inserted into the National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators. Therefore, it has been guaranteed that the data model and data mobilization of wild bee-plant interactions will have an implementation in the medium and long term.

€ {{ 39917 | localNumber }}
€ {{ 74531 | localNumber }}
Type of grant
National biodiversity data mobilization grant
1 July 2021 - 30 June 2023
Project identifier
Funded by
  • Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL)
  • Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Instituto Politécnico Nacional
Contact details

Raul Sierra-Alcocer
National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity
Liga Periférico - Insurgentes Sur 4903

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