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Butterfly communities under threat

Published on Jul 15, 2016in Science41.04
· DOI :10.1126/science.aaf8838
Jeremy A. Thomas36
Estimated H-index: 36
(University of Oxford)
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Abstract
Butterflies are better documented and monitored worldwide than any other nonpest taxon of insects ( 1 ). In the United Kingdom alone, volunteer recorders have sampled more than 750,000 km of repeat transects since 1976, equivalent to walking to the Moon and back counting butterflies ( 2 ). Such programs are revealing regional extinctions and population declines that began before 1900 ( 3 , 4 ). In a recent study, Habel et al. report a similar story based on inventories of butterflies and burnet moths since 1840 in a protected area in Bavaria, Germany ( 5 ). The results reveal severe species losses: Scarce, specialized butterflies have largely disappeared, leaving ecosystems dominated by common generalist ones. Similar trends are seen across Europe ( 6 ) and beyond, with protected areas failing to conserve many species for which they were once famed.
  • References (14)
  • Citations (26)
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References14
Newest
Published on Aug 1, 2016in Conservation Biology6.19
Jan Christian Habel25
Estimated H-index: 25
(TUM: Technische Universität München),
Andreas Segerer1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 3 AuthorsThomas Schmitt26
Estimated H-index: 26
(MLU: Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Environmental changes strongly impact the distribution of species and subsequently the composition of species assemblages. Although most community ecology studies represent temporal snap shots, long-term observations are rather rare. However, only such time series allow the identification of species composition shifts over several decades or even centuries. We analyzed changes in the species composition of a southeastern German butterfly and burnet moth community over nearly 2 centuries (1840-20...
Published on Jun 22, 2016in PLOS ONE2.78
David Baker1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Butterfly Conservation),
Sinead Barrett1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Ebor: University of York)
+ 9 AuthorsPaul Robertson1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Ebor: University of York)
The conditions required by rare species are often only approximately known. Monitoring such species over time can help refine management of their protected areas. We report population trends of a rare moth, the Dark Bordered Beauty Epione vespertaria (Linnaeus, 1767) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) at its last known English site on a protected lowland heath, and those of its host-plant, Salix repens (L.) (Malpighiales: Salicaceae). Between 2007 and 2014, adult moth density reduced by an average of 30...
Published on Dec 1, 2015
Richard Fox33
Estimated H-index: 33
,
Tom Brereton27
Estimated H-index: 27
+ 13 AuthorsColin A. Harrower14
Estimated H-index: 14
Published on Jan 1, 2013
Donald P. A. Sands4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
T. R. New28
Estimated H-index: 28
Published on Jan 1, 2013
Donald P. A. Sands4
Estimated H-index: 4
(CSIRO: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation),
T. R. New28
Estimated H-index: 28
(La Trobe University)
Butterflies are undoubtedly the single most popular group of insects, and this status has fostered considerable and widespread sympathies for their conservation in many parts of the world. The foundations of butterfly conservation – indeed of wider invertebrate conservation – have been set amongst studies of butterflies in northern temperate regions, predominantly those of the United Kingdom, parts of western Europe and North America. These foundations have most commonly reflected concerns for i...
Published on Jan 1, 2012
Tim R. New1
Estimated H-index: 1
Preface.- List of contributors.- 1. Tim New. Introduction to insect conservation, an emerging discipline.- Section 1. Organisations in the United Kingdom.- 2. Michael G. Morris and Oliver D. Cheesman. Insect conservation in the United Kingdom - the role of the Joint Committee for the Conservation of British insects and Invertebrate Link (JCCBI).- 3. Ian F.G. McLean and Roger S. Key. A history of invertebrate conservation in the British Statutory Conservation Agencies.- 4. Alan Stubbs and Matt Sh...
Published on Apr 1, 2011in Journal of Insect Conservation1.33
Owen T. Lewis37
Estimated H-index: 37
(University of Oxford),
Michael J. M. Senior5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Oxford)
Red List Indices provide a method for assessing global trends in species’ conservation status, and for monitoring progress towards achieving conservation targets (for example, commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity). Red List Indices are based on categorization of taxa in terms of their threat status using information on, for example, current and projected abundances, distributions, and threats. Global assessments have now been undertaken for a suite of well-known vertebrate ta...
Published on Apr 1, 2011in Journal of Insect Conservation1.33
Scott R. Swengel10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Dennis Schlicht2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 1 AuthorsAnn B. Swengel11
Estimated H-index: 11
Tallgrass prairie butterfly surveys in recent decades in four states in the USA indicate numerous declines of prairie-specialist butterflies including Speyeria idalia, Oarisma poweshiek, Atrytone arogos, Hesperia dacotae, and H. ottoe in fire-managed preserves, including large high-quality ones. These results replicate previous findings, indicating that upon initiation of conservation action, both cessation of prior management and inception of new management affect specialists negatively and tha...
Published on Apr 1, 2011in Journal of Insect Conservation1.33
Jeremy A. Thomas36
Estimated H-index: 36
(University of Oxford),
D. J. Simcox1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Thomas Hovestadt30
Estimated H-index: 30
(University of Oxford)
Few results of research aimed at solving questions arising from butterfly conservation are rigorously tested by manipulating populations and habitats in the field. Some factors common to successful conservation projects are analysed. In most non-migratory species, population density may vary by up to two orders of magnitude between sites or over time, and is primarily determined by the extent to which a subset of each species’ foodplant (or ant host) exists in the optimum growth-form or micro-ha...
Published on Jul 3, 2009in Science41.04
Jeremy A. Thomas36
Estimated H-index: 36
,
David J. Simcox9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
R. T. Clarke43
Estimated H-index: 43
Globally threatened butterflies have prompted research-based approaches to insect conservation. Here, we describe the reversal of the decline of Maculinea arion (Large Blue), a charismatic specialist whose larvae parasitize Myrmica ant societies. M. arion larvae were more specialized than had previously been recognized, being adapted to a single host-ant species that inhabits a narrow niche in grassland. Inconspicuous changes in grazing and vegetation structure caused host ants to be replaced by...
Cited By26
Newest
Published on Aug 27, 2019in Ecology and Evolution2.42
Antonio C. de Andrade (UFPB: Federal University of Paraíba), William Medeiros (UFPB: Federal University of Paraíba), Matthew D. Adams8
Estimated H-index: 8
(U of T: University of Toronto)
Published on 2019in PLOS ONE2.78
Tyson Wepprich (OSU: Oregon State University), Jeffrey R. Adrion (UO: University of Oregon)+ 2 AuthorsNick M. Haddad35
Estimated H-index: 35
(MSU: Michigan State University)
Severe insect declines make headlines, but they are rarely based on systematic monitoring outside of Europe. We estimate the rate of change in total butterfly abundance and the population trends for 81 species using 21 years of systematic monitoring in Ohio, USA. Total abundance is declining at 2% per year, resulting in a cumulative 33% reduction in butterfly abundance. Three times as many species have negative population trends compared to positive trends. The rate of total decline and the prop...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Biological Conservation4.45
Shuang Xing4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Tsun Fung Au + 6 AuthorsTimothy C. Bonebrake15
Estimated H-index: 15
Abstract With increasing pressure from wildlife trade, conservation efforts must balance deficiencies in distribution data for species (the Wallacean shortfall) with the risk of increasing accessibility of locality for collectors. The Golden Kaiser-I-Hind ( Teinopalpus aureus Mell) is an iconic butterfly restricted to Southeast Asia, popular in trade markets but lacking in ecological and conservation information. We compiled occurrence records and used them to assess multiple threats of T. aureu...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Biodiversity and Conservation3.14
Pau Colom , David Carreras , Constantí Stefanescu22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Autonomous University of Barcelona)
A number of studies analysing the structure of butterfly communities on Mediterranean islands have confirmed the well-established pattern of a current decrease in species richness in island communities. However, these studies generally lack quantitative data on butterfly population densities across habitats and over time. This precludes testing the hypotheses of ecological release, niche expansion and density compensation in island populations and their links to the presence of fewer competitors...
Published on May 11, 2019in Animal Conservation3.05
J. C. Habel (TUM: Technische Universität München), M. M. Gossner , Thomas Schmitt26
Estimated H-index: 26
(MLU: Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Published on Jun 3, 2019in Landscape Ecology4.35
Urs Kormann10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Christoph Scherber36
Estimated H-index: 36
(WWU: University of Münster)
+ 2 AuthorsVerena Rösch7
Estimated H-index: 7
(GAU: University of Göttingen)
Context Global change pressures (GCPs) imperil species and associated ecosystem functions, but studies investigating interactions of landscape-scale pressures remain scarce. Loss of species-rich habitat and agricultural expansion are major threats for biodiversity, but if or how these factors interactively determine community-level shifts and conservation outcomes remains unclear.
Published on May 1, 2019in Biodiversity and Conservation3.14
Jan Christian Habel2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Salzburg),
Michael J. Samways37
Estimated H-index: 37
(Stellenbosch University),
Thomas Schmitt26
Estimated H-index: 26
(MLU: Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Severe decline in terrestrial insect species richness, abundance, flying biomass, and local extinctions across Europe are cause for alarm. Here, we summarize this decline, and identify species affected most. We then focus on the species that might respond best to mitigation measures relative to their traits. We review apparent drivers of decline, and critically reflect on strengths and weaknesses of existing studies, while emphasising their general significance. Generality of recent scientific f...
Published on Apr 1, 2019in Journal of Insect Conservation1.33
Sam Ellis3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Butterfly Conservation),
Dave Wainwright1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Butterfly Conservation)
+ 9 AuthorsR. G. Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Butterfly Conservation)
We describe how a landscape-scale approach has been adopted to conserve the UK’s most threatened butterfly Argynnis adippe. Only 37 populations now remain, with 38 extinctions occurring since 1994 (51% loss). The butterfly has disappeared from most of England and Wales and is now confined to just four landscapes. Since 2005 management in these landscapes has been targeted at improving habitat quality within and connectivity between both occupied and unoccupied sites in the same networks. Conserv...
Published on Mar 4, 2019in PLOS ONE2.78
Giselle Martins Lourenço1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Glória R. Soares1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 3 AuthorsSérvio Pontes Ribeiro15
Estimated H-index: 15
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Science of The Total Environment5.59
Peter Haase32
Estimated H-index: 32
(University of Duisburg-Essen),
Francesca Pilotto9
Estimated H-index: 9
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
+ 4 AuthorsStefan Stoll5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Duisburg-Essen)
Abstract Climate warming often results in species range shifts, biodiversity loss and accumulated climatic debts of biota (i.e. slower changes in biota than in temperature). Here, we analyzed the changes in community composition and temperature signature of stream invertebrate communities over 25 years (1990–2014), based on a large set of samples (n = 3782) over large elevation, latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in central Europe. Although warming was moderate (average 0.5 °C), we found a s...
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