Exploring the universal ecological responses to climate change in a univoltine butterfly.

Fenberg, P.B., Self, A., Stewart, J. R., Wilson, R.J. and Brooks, S.J., 2016. Exploring the universal ecological responses to climate change in a univoltine butterfly. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85 (3), 739 - 748.

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DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12492

Abstract

Animals with distinct life stages are often exposed to different temperatures during each stage. Thus, how temperature affects these life stages should be considered for broadly understanding the ecological consequences of climate warming on such species. For example, temperature variation during particular life stages may affect respective change in body size, phenology and geographic range, which have been identified as the "universal" ecological responses to climate change. While each of these responses has been separately documented across a number of species, it is not known whether each response occurs together within a species. The influence of temperature during particular life stages may help explain each of these ecological responses to climate change. Our goal was to determine if monthly temperature variation during particular life stages of a butterfly species can predict respective changes in body size and phenology. We also refer to the literature to assess if temperature variability during the adult stage influences range change over time. Using historical museum collections paired with monthly temperature records, we show that changes in body size and phenology of the univoltine butterfly, Hesperia comma, are partly dependent upon temporal variation in summer temperatures during key stages of their life cycle. June temperatures, which are likely to affect growth rate of the final larval instar, are important for predicting adult body size (for males only; showing a positive relationship with temperature). July temperatures, which are likely to influence the pupal stage, are important for predicting the timing of adult emergence (showing a negative relationship with temperature). Previous studies show that August temperatures, which act on the adult stage, are linked to range change. Our study highlights the importance of considering temperature variation during each life stage over historic time-scales for understanding intraspecific response to climate change. Range edge studies of ectothermic species that have annual life cycles, long time-series occurrence data, and associated temperature records (ideally at monthly resolutions) could be useful model systems for intraspecific tests of the universal ecological responses to climate change and for exploring interactive effects.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0021-8790
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hesperia comma ; Lepidoptera ; Silver-spotted Skipper ; body size ; climate change ; global warming ; museum collections ; phenology ; range change ; temperature variation
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:24804
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:03 Oct 2016 13:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2016 13:19

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