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Population Fluctuations and Synchrony of Grassland Butterflies in Relation to Species Traits
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 10, e78233- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Population fluctuations and synchrony influence population persistence; species with larger fluctuations and more synchronised population fluctuations face higher extinction risks. Here, we analyse the effect of diet specialisation, mobility, length of the flight period, and distance to the northern edge of the species' distribution in relation to between-year population fluctuations and synchrony of butterfly species. All butterfly species associated with grasslands were surveyed over five successive years at 19 grassland sites in a forest-dominated landscape (50 km(2)) in southern Sweden. At both the local and regional level, we found larger population fluctuations in species with longer flight periods. Population fluctuations were more synchronous among localities in diet specialists. Species with a long flight period might move more to track nectar resources compared to species with shorter flight period, and if nectar sources vary widely between years and localities it may explain that population fluctuations increase with increasing flight length. Diet generalists can use different resources (in this case host plants) at different localities and this can explain the lower synchrony in population fluctuations among generalist species. Higher degree of synchrony is one possible explanation for the higher extinction risks that have been observed for more specialised species. Therefore, diet specialists are more often threatened and require more conservation efforts than generalists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, no 10, e78233- p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97398DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078233ISI: 000326034500070OAI: diva2:678046
FormasEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 244090-STEP-CP-FP


Available from: 2013-12-11 Created: 2013-12-09 Last updated: 2013-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Victor
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