Imperial College London

Dr Richard J. Gill

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 2215r.gill Website




N2.13MunroSilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Samuelson, A and Gill, RJ and Brown, M and Leadbeater, E},
doi = {10.1098/rspb.2018.0807},
journal = {Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
title = {Lower bumblebee colony reproductive success in agricultural compared with urban environments},
url = {},
volume = {285},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Urbanization represents a rapidly growing driver of land-use change. While it is clear that urbanization impacts species abundance and diversity, direct effects of urban land use on animal reproductive success are rarely documented. Here, we show that urban land use is linked to long-term colony reproductive output in a key pollinator. We reared colonies from wild-caught bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) queens, placed them at sites characterized by varying degrees of urbanization from inner city to rural farmland and monitored the production of sexual offspring across the entire colony cycle. Our land-use cluster analysis identified three site categories, and this categorization was a strong predictor of colony performance. Crucially, colonies in the two clusters characterized by urban development produced more sexual offspring than those in the cluster dominated by agricultural land. These colonies also reached higher peak size, had more food stores, encountered fewer parasite invasions and survived for longer. Our results show a link between urbanization and bumblebee colony reproductive success, supporting the theory that urban areas provide a refuge for pollinator populations in an otherwise barren agricultural landscape.
AU - Samuelson,A
AU - Gill,RJ
AU - Brown,M
AU - Leadbeater,E
DO - 10.1098/rspb.2018.0807
PY - 2018///
SN - 1471-2954
TI - Lower bumblebee colony reproductive success in agricultural compared with urban environments
T2 - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
UR -
UR -
VL - 285
ER -