Thomas C. Ings

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1. A fundamental goal of ecological network research is to understand how the complexity observed in nature can persist and how this affects ecosystem functioning. This is essential for us to be able to predict, and eventually mitigate, the consequences of increasing environmental perturbations such as habitat loss, climate change, and invasions of exotic(More)
Learning plays a crucial role in predator avoidance [1-3], but little is known about how the type of experience with predators molds future prey behavior. Specifically, is predator-avoidance learning and memory retention disrupted by cryptic coloration of predators, such as crab spiders [4, 5]? How does experience with different predators affect foraging(More)
Worldwide trade in non-native bumblebees remains largely unrestricted despite well-documented cases where introductions of non-native bees have gone dramatically wrong. Within Europe, indiscriminate importation of non-native populations of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) for the pollination of glasshouse crops continues on a massive scale. However, no risk(More)
The formal study of foraging behavior began in the mid 1960s, using an approach that later became known as optimal foraging theory (Emlen, 1966; MacArthur and Pianka, 1966). Practitioners would use modeling to identify an optimal strategy for an animal facing a given number of foraging options, and then compare this to the strategy actually chosen by the(More)
Predators of pollinators can influence pollination services and plant fitness via both consumptive (reducing pollinator density) and non-consumptive (altering pollinator behaviour) effects. However, a better knowledge of the mechanisms underlying behaviourally mediated indirect effects of predators is necessary to properly understand their role in community(More)
We used a population biological approach to assist our understanding of the evolution of behaviour, with island bumblebees as our model system. The widespread European species Bombus terrestris occurs on all major Mediterranean, and some Atlantic islands. Bees from different populations differ in a variety of behavioural traits, including floral colour(More)
BACKGROUND Foraging bumblebees are normally associated with spring and summer in northern Europe. However, there have been sightings of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris during the warmer winters in recent years in southern England. But what floral resources are they relying upon during winter and how much winter forage can they collect? (More)
The mineral, total amino acid, and sterol compositions of pollen collected by Apis mellifera L. were compared with the pollen of a plant consumed by Bombus terrestris (L.): Arbutus unedo L. This plant provides the predominant food resource for the main autumn generation of B. terrestris in southern France. Honey bees also forage on this plant, although only(More)
Studies of innate colour preference and learning ability have focused on differences at the species level, rather than variation among populations of a single species. Initial strength and persistence of colour preferences are likely to affect colour choices of naïve flower visitors. We therefore study the influence of both the strength and persistence of(More)
Biological invasions are facilitated by the global transportation of species and climate change. Given that invasions may cause ecological and economic damage and pose a major threat to biodiversity, understanding the mechanisms behind invasion success is essential. Both the release of non-native populations from natural enemies, such as parasites, and the(More)