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Effects of drought on contrasting insect and plant species in the UK in the mid-1990s

Published on Feb 20, 2002in Global Ecology and Biogeography 5.96
· DOI :10.1046/j.1466-822X.2002.00174.x
Michael D. Morecroft35
Estimated H-index: 35
(University of Oxford),
C. E. Bealey1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Defence Evaluation and Research Agency)
+ 2 AuthorsI. P. Woiwod1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Hertfordshire)
Abstract Aim We examined the effects of drought in the summer of 1995 and the subsequent year on contrasting species of plants, moths, butterflies and ground beetles. We tested whether population increases were associated with: (a) species of warm environments (b) species of dry environments (c) species with rapid reproduction (d) species with high rates of dispersal. Location The study was conducted at Environmental Change Network (ECN) sites throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Methods Climate monitoring, recording of plant species in permanent plots, transect walking for butterflies, light trapping for moths and pitfall trapping for carabid beetles were used. Results There was an overall increase in the number of species recorded in permanent vegetation plots between 1994 and 1996, principally among the annual and biennial vascular plants, probably as a result of gap colonization in grasslands. Most butterfly and moth species increased between 1994 and 1995. Among the butterflies, a southern distribution and high mobility were associated with species tending to increase throughout the period 1994–96, whereas declining species tended to have a northern distribution. A similar number of carabid beetle species increased as decreased in the period 1994–96; decreasing species tended to be associated with lower temperatures and wetter soils. Conclusions Current climate change scenarios indicate that the incidence of droughts in the United Kingdom will increase. A series of dry, hot summers could lead to a rapid change in the population of some species although others, including many plants, may be more resilient. This may lead to complex changes in ecosystems and needs to be considered in planning conservation strategies.
  • References (37)
  • Citations (66)
Published on Jan 1, 2013
G.F. Midgley1
Estimated H-index: 1
F.I. Woodward1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Sheffield)
Climate effects on plant biodiversity seem more predictable at larger spatial scales, as it is difficult to disentangle the effects of landscape structure, disturbance and species interactions at smaller scales. Large scale patterns are explored through observations and correlations to better understand how climate controls diversity. Diversity increases towards the equator (with warmer and wetter conditions), but can be much higher than expected in some areas. These exceptions may be areas that...
14 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 19, 2006in Soil Use and Management 1.34
Michael D. Morecroft35
Estimated H-index: 35
(University of Oxford),
T. P. Burt59
Estimated H-index: 59
(Durham University)
+ 1 AuthorsA.P. Rowland1
Estimated H-index: 1
. The effect of drought between summer 1995 and 1997 on stream and river nitrate concentrations was investigated using sites close to the long-running meteorological station in Oxford, UK. Nitrate concentrations in the River Windrush were relatively low during the drought, but after it had ended reached the highest level since records began in 1973. The low concentrations during the drought probably reflect a reduced contribution from agricultural runoff. High nitrate concentrations were found i...
30 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2000in Ecological Modelling 2.51
Antoine Guisan69
Estimated H-index: 69
Niklaus E. Zimmermann52
Estimated H-index: 52
With the rise of new powerful statistical techniques and GIS tools, the development of predictive habitat distribution models has rapidly increased in ecology. Such models are static and probabilistic in nature, since they statistically relate the geographical distribution of species or communities to their present environment. A wide array of models has been developed to cover aspects as diverse as biogeography, conservation biology, climate change research, and habitat or species management. I...
4,609 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 1, 2000in Journal of Applied Ecology 5.74
Geoff K Frampton24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of Southampton),
Paul J. Van den Brink47
Estimated H-index: 47
Philip J.L. Gould3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Southampton)
1. Information is lacking on how possible future changes in the seasonal occurrence and intensity of precipitation in Europe will affect the arthropod community of arable farmland. 2. We used a novel experimental approach to investigate the responses of farmland arthropods to spring precipitation in a spring-sown legume. Replicated plots were subjected to spring drought (plots shielded from rainfall), actual rainfall (reference) and spring irrigation. Shielding plots extended an existing drought...
103 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 4, 2000in Science 41.06
J. Philip Grime61
Estimated H-index: 61
V. K. Brown1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 6 AuthorsJ. P. Kielty2
Estimated H-index: 2
Two different UK limestone grasslands were exposed to simulated climate change with the use of nonintrusive techniques to manipulate local climate over 5 years. Resistance to climate change, defined as the ability of a community to maintain its composition and biomass in response to environmental stress, could be explained by reference to the functional composition and successional status of the grasslands. The more fertile, early-successional grassland was much more responsive to climate change...
273 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2000in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 7.80
Camille Parmesan34
Estimated H-index: 34
Terry L. Root26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Michigan),
Michael R. Willig53
Estimated H-index: 53
(Texas Tech University)
Climate is a driver of biotic systems. It affects individual fitness, population dynamics, distribution and abundance of species, and ecosystem structure and function. Regional variation in climatic regimes creates selective pressures for the evolution of locally adapted physiologies, morphological adaptations (e.g., color patterns, surface textures, body shapes and sizes), and behavioral adaptations (e.g., foraging strategies and breeding systems). In the absence of humans, broad-scale, long-te...
502 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 22, 1999
Jane K. Hill54
Estimated H-index: 54
(Durham University),
Chris D. Thomas84
Estimated H-index: 84
(University of Leeds),
Brian Huntley66
Estimated H-index: 66
(Durham University)
Evidence of anthropogenic global climate change is accumulating, but its potential consequences for insect distributions have received little attention. We use a 'climate response surface' model to investigate distribution changes at the northern margin of the speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria. We relate its current European distribution to a combination of three bioclimatic variables. We document that P. aegeria has expanded its northern margin substantially since 1940, that changes in t...
295 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 1999in Nature 41.58
Camille Parmesan34
Estimated H-index: 34
Nils Ryrholm7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Uppsala University)
+ 10 AuthorsToomas Tammaru32
Estimated H-index: 32
Mean global temperatures have risen this century, and further warming is predicted to continue for the next 50-100 years(1-3) Some migratory species can respond rapidly to yearly climate variation ...
1,448 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 1, 1999in Nature 41.58
Chris D. Thomas84
Estimated H-index: 84
(University of Leeds),
Jack J. Lennon29
Estimated H-index: 29
(University of Leeds)
We have analysed the breeding distributions of British birds over a 20-year period. After controlling for overall population expansions and retractions, we find that the northern margins of many species have moved further north by an average of 18.9 km during this time. This general northward shift took place during a period of climatic warming, which we propose might be causally involved.
633 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 1998in Ecological Monographs 7.83
Louis R. Iverson30
Estimated H-index: 30
(United States Department of Agriculture),
Anantha M. Prasad6
Estimated H-index: 6
(United States Department of Agriculture)
Projected climate warming will potentially have profound effects on the earth's biota, including a large redistribution of tree species. We developed models to evaluate potential shifts for 80 individual tree species in the eastern United States. First, environmental factors associated with current ranges of tree species were assessed using geographic information systems (GIS) in conjunction with regression tree analysis (RTA). The method was then extended to better understand the potential of s...
595 Citations Source Cite
Cited By66
Published on May 22, 2019in Biological Journal of The Linnean Society 2.53
Julian R. Dupuis5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Alberta),
Catherine I. Cullingham14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Alberta)
+ 1 AuthorsFelix A. H. Sperling38
Estimated H-index: 38
(University of Alberta)
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Published on Apr 1, 2019in Animal Behaviour 3.07
Ana L. Salgado (University of Helsinki), Marjo Saastamoinen7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Helsinki)
Larval-derived nutritional reserves are essential in shaping insects' adult fitness. Early larval instars of many Lepidopteran species are often sessile, and the conditions experienced by these larvae are often highly dependent on the mother's oviposition choice. Later larval stages are more mobile and therefore can choose their food whenever alternatives are available. We tested how feeding on a drought-exposed host plant impacts life history in an insect herbivore, and whether the observed res...
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Published on Oct 24, 2018in PLOS ONE 2.77
Ceres Barros (Natural Resources Canada), Wilfried Thuiller97
Estimated H-index: 97
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Tamara Münkemüller22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
Plant communities in forest-grassland ecotones of the European Alps are already suffering from gradual climate change and will likely be exposed to more frequent and intense drought periods in the future. Yet, how gradual climate change and extreme drought will affect the stability of these plant communities is largely unknown. Here, we investigated how drought modulates the effects of gradual climate change on the long-term structural stability of these ecotone communities using a multidimensio...
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Published on Aug 2, 2018in Insects
Carrie N. Wells4
Estimated H-index: 4
David Tonkyn4
Estimated H-index: 4
Climate change is predicted to alter the geographic distribution of a wide variety of taxa, including butterfly species. Research has focused primarily on high latitude species in North America, with no known studies examining responses of taxa in the southeastern United States. The Diana fritillary (Speyeria diana) has experienced a recent range retraction in that region, disappearing from lowland sites and now persisting in two phylogenetically distinct high elevation populations. These findin...
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Published on Dec 1, 2017in Scientific Reports 4.12
Yi Luo2
Estimated H-index: 2
(China West Normal University),
Mao Jun Zhong5
Estimated H-index: 5
(China West Normal University)
+ 3 AuthorsAlexander Kotrschal18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Stockholm University)
The challenges of seasonal environments are thought to contribute to brain evolution, but in which way is debated. According to the Cognitive Buffer Hypothesis (CBH) brain size should increase with seasonality, as the cognitive benefits of a larger brain should help overcoming periods of food scarcity via, for instance, increased behavioral flexibility. However, in line with the Expensive Brain Framework (EBF) brain size should decrease with seasonality because a smaller brain confers energetic ...
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Published on Nov 1, 2017in Oikos 3.71
Andrew J. Suggitt9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Exeter),
Philip J. Platts17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of York)
+ 21 AuthorsAnna B. Harper12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Exeter)
Although the number of studies discerning the impact of climate change on ecological systems continues to increase, there has been relatively little sharing of the lessons learnt when accumulating this evidence. At a recent workshop entitled ‘Using climate data in ecological research’ held at the UK Met Office, ecologists and climate scientists came together to discuss the robust analysis of climate data in ecology. The discussions identified three common pitfalls encountered by ecologists: 1) s...
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Published on Oct 18, 2017in PLOS ONE 2.77
Caspar A. Hallmann7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Radboud University Nijmegen),
Martin Sorg1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 9 AuthorsThomas Hörren1
Estimated H-index: 1
Global declines in insects have sparked wide interest among scientists, politicians, and the general public. Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services. Our understanding of the extent and underlying causes of this decline is based on the abundance of single species or taxonomic groups only, rather than changes in insect biomass which is more relevant for ecological functioning. Here, we used a standardized pr...
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Published on Jul 1, 2017in Applied Vegetation Science 2.33
Zarah Pattison2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Stirling),
Jeroen Minderman10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of St Andrews)
+ 1 AuthorsNigel Willby23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of Stirling)
Question Which environmental factors influence the occurrence of invasive alien plants (IAPs) in riparian habitats and how much can IAPs account for change in native vegetation compared with other environmental variables? Location Rivers distributed throughout mainland Britain. Methods We quantified change in river bank vegetation using survey data collected approximately 20 years apart and assessed the contribution of major IAPs (Impatiens glandulifera, Heracleum mantegazzianum and Fallopia jap...
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Published on May 1, 2017in Ecography 4.52
Adriana De Palma9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Imperial College London),
Roger L. H. Dennis26
Estimated H-index: 26
+ 2 AuthorsTom H. Oliver26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Reading)
Drought events are projected to increase in frequency and magnitude, which may alter the composition of ecological communities. Using a functional community metric that describes abundance, life history traits and conservation status, based upon Grime's CSR (Competitive-Stress tolerant-Ruderal) scheme, we investigated how British butterfly communities changed during an extreme drought in 1995. Throughout Britain, the total abundance of these insects had a significant tendency to increase, accomp...
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Published on Jan 1, 2017in Animal Biology 1.07
Jun Gu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(China West Normal University),
Da Yong Li2
Estimated H-index: 2
(China West Normal University)
+ 7 AuthorsWen Bo Liao6
Estimated H-index: 6
(China West Normal University)
Brain size varies dramatically between vertebrate species. Two prominent adaptive hypotheses – the Cognitive Buffer Hypothesis (CBH) and the Expensive Brain Hypothesis (EBH) – have been proposed to explain brain size evolution. The CBH assumes that brain size should increase with seasonality, as the cognitive benefits of a larger brain should help overcoming periods of food scarcity via, for example, increased behavioral flexibility. Alternatively, the EBH states that brain size should decrease ...
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