Navigation Links
Study reveals how monarch butterflies recolonize northern breeding range
Date:3/19/2012

Each year, millions of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) migrate from overwintering grounds in central Mexico to colonize eastern North America, but just how these delicate creatures manage to reach the northern part of their breeding range in spring has largely remained a mystery.

Monarch ButterflyNew research from the University of Guelph led by Prof. Ryan Norris, Department of Integrative Biology, former graduate student Nathan Miller and Environment Canada, reveals how monarchs recolonize the northern reaches of their breeding grounds information that will help preserve this migratory species threatened by loss of critical food and habitat.

Every year, adult monarchs head north to lay eggs on milkweed plants in the United States. Subsequent generations continue north to reproduce, some eventually reaching southern Canada.

But this amazing migration has been declared "threatened" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Because of milkweed destruction, the monarch butterfly has remained on Canada's list of species of "special concern" since 1997.

Norris said scientists need to learn more about the butterfly's migration to forecast how it will respond to environmental change such as habitat loss.

"It wasn't clear where these individuals were born and how long they lived," he said. "One possibility was that some monarchs that reach places like southern Ontario could have migrated all the way from Mexico."

Miller sampled monarchs from 44 sites across Ontario and the northern states. By analyzing chemical markers called stable isotopes and examining wing wear, the researchers found that about 10 per cent reaching the northern breeding range in the spring come directly from Mexico.

"This is an incredible journey from an animal this size, especially if you consider that these butterflies are little more than eight months old and have travelled thousands of kilometres over their lifetime," Miller said.

Ninety per cent of monarchs sampled by the researchers in the spring were first-generation individuals born en route that year. Surprisingly, most of these monarchs were born in the highly productive region of the central United States, not in the southern states as previously thought.

"Linking these periods of the breeding cycle provides us key information for conservation and identifies highly productive regions that fuel the migration further north," said Norris.

The study appears in the journal PLoS One.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ryan Norris
rnorris@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x56300
University of Guelph
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
3. New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
4. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
9. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
10. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
11. Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), ... a global partnership that will provide end customers ... mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... innovation area for financial services, but it also plays a ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... today announced that its Board of Directors has approved the ... second quarter of 2016. The cash dividend ... July 29, 2016 to stockholders of record as of the ... dividends are subject to approval of the Board of Directors ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 - Leading CRO,s ... - Frontage Implement a Single Platform to Manage End-to-end ... Traceability Within the Bioanalytical lab Frontage Laboratories, a full-service ... States and China , has selected ... facilities. In addition to serving as the global electronic lab notebook ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... Foresight ... nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. , ... in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... that 10 of its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their ... cutting edge technology to provide the highest level of care for their patients. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: