Could urbanisation and biodiversity be compatible?
More than 900 species of wild bees are found in France, but many of them - such as bumblebees - are in decline. INRA scientists, working in collaboration with the naturalist association Arthropologia, have carried out the first exhaustive study in Europe to evaluate the impact of urbanisation on the wild bee community. They studied 24 more or less urbanised sites in and around Lyon and recorded 291 different bee species. Although bee abundance decreased with an increasing level of urbanisation, the number of species present was at its peak in periurban areas, and 60 species - a considerable number - were found at the most urban site. These findings are published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on 13 August 2014.