Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Topographical variation reduces phenological mismatch between a butterfly and its nectar source

Hindle, Bethan J.; Kerr, Chantelle L.; Richards, Shane A.; Willis, Stephen G.

Authors

Chantelle L. Kerr

Shane A. Richards

Stephen G. Willis



Abstract

© 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. The timing of many biological events, including butterfly imago emergence, has advanced under climate change, with the rate of these phenological changes often differing among taxonomic groups. Such inter-taxa variability can lead to phenological mismatches. For example, the timing of a butterfly’s flight period may become misaligned with a key nectar resource, potentially increasing the extinction risk to both species. Here we fit statistical models to field data to determine how the phenology of the marbled white butterfly, Melanargia galathea, and its main nectar source, greater knapweed, Centaurea scabiosa, have changed over recent years at three sites across the UK. We also consider whether topographical diversity affects C. scabiosa’s flowering period. At our focal site, on the species’ northern range limit, we find that over a 13-year period the onset of C. scabiosa’s flowering period has become later whilst there is no obvious trend over time in the onset of M. galathea’s flight period. In recent years, butterflies have started to emerge before their key nectar source was available across most of the site. This raises the intriguing possibility that phenological mismatch could be an unrecognised determinant of range limits for some species. However, the presence of topographical diversity within the site decreased the chance of a mismatch occurring by increasing the length of the flowering period by up to 14days. We suggest that topographical diversity could be an important component in minimising phenological mismatches under future climate change.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 1, 2015
Journal Journal of Insect Conservation
Print ISSN 1366-638X
Electronic ISSN 1572-9753
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 227-236
APA6 Citation Willis, S. G., Richards, S. A., Kerr, C. L., Hindle, B. J., Hindle, B. J., Kerr, C. L., …Willis, S. G. (2015). Topographical variation reduces phenological mismatch between a butterfly and its nectar source. Journal of Insect Conservation, 19(2), 227-236. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-014-9713-x
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-014-9713-x
Keywords insect-plant interactions, topographical diversity, asynchrony, melanargia galathea, centaurea scabiosa, climate change, phenological mismatch
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-014-9713-x
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-014-9713-x

Files







You might also like



Downloadable Citations

;