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Long-term changes to the frequency of occurrence of British moths are consistent with opposing and synergistic effects of climate and land-use changes

Published on Aug 1, 2014in Journal of Applied Ecology5.78
· DOI :10.1111/1365-2664.12256
Richard Fox33
Estimated H-index: 33
(Butterfly Conservation),
Tom H. Oliver26
Estimated H-index: 26
+ 3 AuthorsDavid B. Roy59
Estimated H-index: 59
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Abstract
Summary 1. Species’ distributions are likely to be affected by a combination of environmental drivers. We used a data set of 11 million species occurrence records over the period 1970–2010 to assess changes in the frequency of occurrence of 673 macro-moth species in Great Britain. Groups of species with different predicted sensitivities showed divergent trends, which we interpret in the context of land-use and climatic changes. 2. A diversity of responses was revealed: 260 moth species declined significantly, whereas 160 increased significantly. Overall, frequencies of occurrence declined, mirroring trends in less species-rich, yet more intensively studied taxa. 3. Geographically widespread species, which were predicted to be more sensitive to land use than to climate change, declined significantly in southern Britain, where the cover of urban and arable land has increased. 4. Moths associated with low nitrogen and open environments (based on their larval host plant characteristics) declined most strongly, which is also consistent with a land-use change explanation. 5. Some moths that reach their northern (leading edge) range limit in southern Britain increased, whereas species restricted to northern Britain (trailing edge) declined significantly, consistent with a climate change explanation. 6. Not all species of a given type behaved similarly, suggesting that complex interactions between species’ attributes and different combinations of environmental drivers determine frequency of occurrence changes. 7. Synthesis and applications. Our findings are consistent with large-scale responses to climatic and land-use changes, with some species increasing and others decreasing. We suggest that landuse change (e.g. habitat loss, nitrogen deposition) and climate change are both major drivers of moth biodiversity change, acting independently and in combination. Importantly, the diverse responses revealed in this species-rich taxon show that multifaceted conservation strategies are needed to minimize negative biodiversity impacts of multiple environmental changes. We suggest that habitat protection, management and ecological restoration can mitigate combined impacts of land-use change and climate change by providing environments that are suitable for existing populations and also enable species to shift their ranges.
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  • References (68)
  • Citations (75)
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References68
Newest
Published on Oct 6, 2015
Douglas M. Bates30
Estimated H-index: 30
,
Martin Mächler15
Estimated H-index: 15
+ 1 AuthorsSteven C. Walker10
Estimated H-index: 10
Published on Aug 12, 2013in PLOS ONE2.78
Rob J. J. Hendriks7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Radboud University Nijmegen),
Luísa G. Carvalheiro22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Leeds)
+ 1 AuthorsJacobus C. Biesmeijer37
Estimated H-index: 37
(Naturalis)
Nutrient availability in ecosystems has increased dramatically over the last century. Excess reactive nitrogen deposition is known to negatively impact plant communities, e.g. by changing species composition, biomass and vegetation structure. In contrast, little is known on how such impacts propagate to higher trophic levels. To evaluate how nitrogen deposition affects plants and herbivore communities through time, we used extensive databases of spatially explicit historical records of Dutch pla...
Richard J. Payne24
Estimated H-index: 24
(MMU: Manchester Metropolitan University),
Nancy B. Dise32
Estimated H-index: 32
(MMU: Manchester Metropolitan University)
+ 1 AuthorsDavid J. Gowing31
Estimated H-index: 31
(OU: Open University)
In Europe and, increasingly, the rest of the world, the key policy tool for the control of air pollution is the critical load, a level of pollution below which there are no known significant harmful effects on the environment. Critical loads are used to map sensitive regions and habitats, permit individual polluting activities, and frame international negotiations on transboundary air pollution. Despite their fundamental importance in environmental science and policy, there has been no systemati...
Published on Jan 11, 2013in PLOS ONE2.78
Iker Pardo4
Estimated H-index: 4
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council),
María P. Pata4
Estimated H-index: 4
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council)
+ 1 AuthorsMaría B. García21
Estimated H-index: 21
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council)
How reliable are results on spatial distribution of biodiversity based on databases? Many studies have evidenced the uncertainty related to this kind of analysis due to sampling effort bias and the need for its quantification. Despite that a number of methods are available for that, little is known about their statistical limitations and discrimination capability, which could seriously constrain their use. We assess for the first time the discrimination capacity of two widely used methods and a ...
Published on Nov 21, 2012
Per-Eric Betzholtz8
Estimated H-index: 8
(LNU: Linnaeus University),
Lars B. Pettersson21
Estimated H-index: 21
(Lund University)
+ 1 AuthorsMarkus Franzén19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ)
Recent global change has had a substantial influence on the distribution of organisms, and many species are currently expanding their ranges. To evaluate the underlying processes, long-term data with good geographic resolution are essential. One important but generally overlooked data source is offered by the taxon-specific national catalogues of first provincial records that are kept in many countries. Here, we use such data to quantify trait-based influences on range expansion in Swedish butte...
Published on Jan 1, 2013in Insect Conservation and Diversity2.31
Richard Fox33
Estimated H-index: 33
(Butterfly Conservation)
Population declines among insects are inadequately quantified, yet of vital importance to national and global biodiversity assessments and have significant implications for ecosystem services. 2. Substantial declines in abundance and distribution have been reported recently within a species-rich insect taxon, macro-moths, in Great Britain and other Euro- pean countries. These declines are of concern because moths are important primary consumers and prey items for a wide range of other taxa, as w...
Published on Dec 1, 2012in Journal of Applied Ecology5.78
Thomas Merckx22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Oxford),
Lorenzo Marini29
Estimated H-index: 29
(UNIPD: University of Padua)
+ 1 AuthorsDavid W. Macdonald6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Oxford)
Improving the effectiveness of agri-environment schemes is essential for reversing declines in farmland biodiversity. Crucial to achieving this is identifying management options that are practical and beneficial to biodiversity, and understanding the influence of the surrounding landscape. We used data on abundance and species richness of farmland macro-moths, many of which are declining, and trait-based analyses on their feeding guild, mobility and conservation status, to explore local- and lan...
Published on Sep 1, 2012in Global Change Biology8.88
Tom H. Oliver26
Estimated H-index: 26
,
Chris D. Thomas84
Estimated H-index: 84
(Ebor: University of York)
+ 2 AuthorsDavid B. Roy59
Estimated H-index: 59
Climate warming threatens the survival of species at their warm, trailing-edge range boundaries but also provides opportunities for the ecological release of populations at the cool, leading edges of their distributions. Thus, as the climate warms, leading-edge populations are expected to utilize an increased range of habitat types, leading to larger population sizes and range expansion. Here, we test the hypothesis that the habitat associations of British butterflies have expanded over three de...
Chris D. Thomas84
Estimated H-index: 84
(Ebor: University of York),
Phillipa K. Gillingham9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Ebor: University of York)
+ 19 AuthorsRichard Fox33
Estimated H-index: 33
The benefits of protected areas (PAs) for biodiversity have been questioned in the context of climate change because PAs are static, whereas the distributions of species are dynamic. Current PAs may, however, continue to be important if they provide suitable locations for species to colonize at their leading-edge range boundaries, thereby enabling spread into new regions. Here, we present an empirical assessment of the role of PAs as targets for colonization during recent range expansions. Recor...
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Published on May 17, 2018in Insect Science2.71
Martin Luquet (Agrocampus Ouest), M. Hullé13
Estimated H-index: 13
(INRA: Institut national de la recherche agronomique)
+ 3 AuthorsBruno Jaloux4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Agrocampus Ouest)
Published on 2019in Biodiversity and Conservation3.14
Richard Fox33
Estimated H-index: 33
(University of Exeter),
Nigel A. D. Bourn14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Butterfly Conservation)
+ 3 AuthorsRobert J. Wilson32
Estimated H-index: 32
(University of Exeter)
Citizen science plays an increasingly important role in biodiversity research and conservation, enabling large volumes of data to be gathered across extensive spatial scales in a cost-effective manner. Open access increases the utility of such data, informing land-use decisions that may affect species persistence, enhancing transparency and encouraging proliferation of research applications. However, open access provision of recent, fine-scale spatial information on the locations of species may ...
Published on Jul 11, 2019in Functional Ecology5.04
Paula Banza1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council),
Callum J. Macgregor2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 3 AuthorsDarren M. Evans20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Newcastle University)
Published on Jul 8, 2019in bioRxiv
Rebecca S Kinsella (Ebor: University of York), Chris D. Thomas84
Estimated H-index: 84
(Ebor: University of York)
+ 3 AuthorsCallum J. Macgregor2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Ebor: University of York)
Insect abundance changes are well-established in some datasets, but far less is known about how this translates into biomass changes. Moths (Lepidoptera) provide particularly good opportunities to study trends and drivers of biomass change at large spatial and temporal scales, given the existence of long-term abundance datasets for moths. This requires estimation of the body mass of moths sampled over time, but such data do not currently exist. We collected empirical data in 2018 on the forewing...
Published on Apr 5, 2019in Journal of Ornithology
Antoine Sierro , Andreas Erhardt25
Estimated H-index: 25
(University of Basel)
Increasing light emissions caused by human activities have been recognized as a major threat for nocturnal animals. In Switzerland, the European Nightjar is a rare bird, decreasing in numbers since the 1970s, and is therefore highly threatened. The last breeding population occurs in the canton Valais. Initial expert-based conservation measures on formerly inhabited breeding sites were successful until 2000, however recent additional measures have failed. Nightjars are highly sensitive to light d...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Global Change Biology8.88
Chris D. Thomas84
Estimated H-index: 84
(Ebor: University of York),
T. Hefin Jones31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Cardiff University)
+ 0 AuthorsSusan E. Hartley (Ebor: University of York)
Published on May 31, 2019in PeerJ2.35
Hannah J. White4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UCD: University College Dublin),
Willson Gaul (UCD: University College Dublin)+ 4 AuthorsJon M. Yearsley11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UCD: University College Dublin)
Published on May 15, 2019in Ecology and Evolution2.42
Anders Pape Møller1
Estimated H-index: 1
(BNU: Beijing Normal University)
Published on May 8, 2019in bioRxiv
Danielle Salcido (UNR: University of Nevada, Reno), Matthew L. Forister23
Estimated H-index: 23
(UNR: University of Nevada, Reno),
Humberto Garcia (UNR: University of Nevada, Reno)
Reports of biodiversity loss have increasingly focused on the abundance and diversity of insects, but it has been less clear if substantive losses are occurring in intact low-latitude forests. We collected 22 years of plant-caterpillar-parasitoid data in a protected tropical forest and found reductions in diversity and density of these insects that appear to be partly driven by a changing climate and weather anomalies. The decline in parasitism represents a reduction in an important ecosystem se...
Published on May 1, 2019in Biological Conservation4.45
Daniel H. Janzen82
Estimated H-index: 82
(UPenn: University of Pennsylvania),
Winnie Hallwachs25
Estimated H-index: 25
(UPenn: University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract I have been watching the gradual and very visible decline of Mexican and Central American insect density and species richness since 1953 and Winnie since 1978. The loss is very real for essentially all higher taxa, and the reasons are very evident: intense forest and agricultural simplification of very large areas, massive use of pesticides, habitat fragmentation, and at least since the 1980's, ever-increasing climate change in temperature, rainfall, and synchronization of seasonal cues...
View next paperRapid responses of British butterflies to opposing forces of climate and habitat change