Introducción de abejorros (Bombus) no nativos: causas, consecuencias ecológicas y perspectivas

  • Carolina L. Morales Laboratorio Ecotono, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina.
Palabras clave: cría comercial de abejorros, hibridación, desplazamiento competitivo, especies exóticas, invasiones biológicas, patógenos, polinización de cultivos


La invasión de polinizadores no nativos puede afectar considerablemente a los polinizadores nativos y a las plantas, nativas e introducidas. En este trabajo analizo las causas de la introducción de abejorros (Bombus) polinizadores, los factores que favorecen su invasión y la distribución de las especies introducidas; reviso los estudios sobre sus impactos ecológicos; las limitaciones y de los principales vacíos de conocimiento. Existen cinco especies de abejorros establecidas fuera de sus áreas de distribución natural, producto de la liberación intencional y del comercio de colonias. Los abejorros introducidos son altamente polilécticos, pueden alcanzar altas abundancias en las áreas invadidas y, en algunos casos, dominar las comunidades antófilas. En general, adquieren recursos de manera más eficiente que las especies nativas y, a pesar de un sustancial solapamiento en el uso de flores, se excluyen mutuamente tanto espacial como temporalmente, lo que sugiere una potencial competencia con especies nativas, aún no documentada experimentalmente. La introducción de abejorros podría favorecer la introducción y transmisión de patógenos. Son polinizadores menos eficientes de algunas plantas nativas que sus congéneres nativos. En general, prefieren especies de plantas no nativas lo que contribuye sustancialmente a la polinización de importantes malezas, si bien su efecto sobre la capacidad de invasión de las mismas no ha sido evaluado. Algunas especies de abejorros no nativos pueden cruzarse con congéneres nativos en condiciones experimentales, si bien no se han documentado hibridaciones en la naturaleza. La evidencia del impacto de abejorros introducidos sobre ecosistemas nativos es escasa, fragmentada y preliminar. No obstante, sugiere que la aplicación del principio precautorio al momento de analizar la viabilidad de futuras introducciones sería altamente recomendable.


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