Navigation Links
UK butterfly populations threatened by extreme drought and landscape fragmentation
Date:11/1/2012

A new study has found that the sensitivity and recovery of UK butterfly populations to extreme drought is affected by the overall area and degree of fragmentation of key habitat types in the landscape.

The analysis, published this week in the scientific journal Ecography, used data on the Ringlet butterfly collected from 79 UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme sites between 1990 and 1999, a period which spanned a severe drought event in 1995.

The study was led by Dr Tom Oliver from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in collaboration with colleagues from CEH and the charity Butterfly Conservation.

Lead author Dr Tom Oliver from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, "Most ecological climate change studies focus on species' responses to gradual temperature rise, but it may be that extreme weather will actually have the greatest impact on our wildlife. We have provided the first evidence that species responses to extreme events may be affected by the habitat structure in the wider countryside; for example in the total area and fragmentation (i.e. isolation) of woodland patches."

The UK has suffered from a number of severe droughts over the last few decades (e.g. 1976, 1995). Under global warming, the frequency of such summer droughts is expected to increase. The intense summer drought in 1995 led to marked declines in insect species associated with cooler and wetter microclimates and scientists are interested in how to make species populations more resilient, i.e. more resistant to and more able to recover from these extreme climate events.

The Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus is a grass-feeding butterfly commonly found close to woodland edges and known to be susceptible to drought effects. The researchers found that, following the 1995 drought, Ringlet populations not only crashed most severely in drier regions but, additionally, the habitat structure in the wider countryside around sites influenced population responses. Larger and more connected patches of woodland habitat reduced population sensitivity to the drought event and also facilitated faster recovery.

Co-author Dr Tom Brereton from Butterfly Conservation said, "Our results suggest that landscape-scale conservation projects are vital in helping species to recover from extreme events expected under climate change. However, conversely, if we do nothing, the high levels of habitat fragmentation will mean species are more susceptible."

Although many Ringlet populations did show some recovery following 1995-1996 population crashes, the long-term situation of the species in some parts of the UK is worrying. The researchers found that 18% of Ringlet butterfly populations continued to decline in the subsequent three years. The majority of populations showed positive recovery, although only 33% of populations showed complete recovery to pre-drought population levels within three years.

Co-author Dr David Roy from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology added, "The delayed recovery of butterfly populations is worrying given that severe summer droughts are expected to become common in some areas of the UK, for example, South East England. If populations don't recover by the time the next drought hits, they may face gradual erosion until local extinction."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barnaby Smith
bpgs@ceh.ac.uk
44-079-202-95384
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. An early spring drives butterfly population declines
2. Ecological monitoring on bird populations in Europe re-evaluated
3. Populations survive despite many deleterious mutations
4. Skin cancer identified for the first time in wild fish populations
5. Making healthy food affordable and appealing for low-income populations
6. Gut microbes battle a common set of viruses shared by global populations
7. Nearby chimpanzee populations show much greater genetic diversity than distant human populations
8. 100 most threatened species
9. Continuing management needed for most threatened and endangered species
10. Queens researcher finds situation dire for threatened rhino species
11. Developing policy on moving threatened species called a grand challenge for conservation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UK butterfly populations threatened by extreme drought and landscape fragmentation
(Date:1/18/2017)...  In vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies were very active ... and Kalorama Information expects that trend to continue – ... Generally, uncertainty in reimbursement and healthcare reform in ... the acquisitions landscape. Instead of looking to buy technology, ... outside of their home country and also to increase ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... , Jan. 12, 2017  New research undertaken by ... of the future.  1,000 participants were simply asked which office ... which we may consider standard issue.  Insights on what ... were also gathered from futurists and industry leaders including ... James Canton .  Some of these ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... 6, 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., announced that ... volunteers of a novel calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) ... Acute pancreatitis, sudden painful inflammation ... but can be very serious.  In severe cases it ... extended hospital stays, time in the ICU and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017 Bioptix, ... the "Company"), announced that on January 14, 2017 the ... under which the Company will terminate certain employees associated ... Diagnostics, Inc.  The Company commenced terminations on January 16, ... 30 days.  The Company may pay severance benefits in ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... 2017   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... cancer stemness pathways, today presented data from two clinical ... 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers ... In a Phase Ib/II study of napabucasin ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3 – colorectal cancer ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... NEW YORK , January 20, 2017 ... how current market conditions have influenced the most recent ... Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS ), Abeona ... Inc. (NASDAQ: TBPH ), and Sage Therapeutics ... new research report by Grand View Research, global Biotech market size ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... January 20, 2017 http://www.Financialbuzz.com ... one of leading causes of death worldwide. There were ... number of cancer related deaths increased gradually over time, ... incidence rate of various cancers continues to drive demand ... report by Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer biological therapy ...
Breaking Biology Technology: