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Reduced variability in range-edge butterfly populations over three decades of climate warming

Oliver, Tom H.; Roy, David B.; Brereton, Tom; Thomas, Jeremy A.. 2012 Reduced variability in range-edge butterfly populations over three decades of climate warming. Global Change Biology, 18 (5). 1531-1539. 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02659.x

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Abstract/Summary

Populations at the high latitude edge of species’ geographical ranges are thought to show larger interannual population fluctuations, with subsequent higher local extinction risk, than those within the ‘core’ climatic range. As climate envelopes shift northward under climate warming, however, we would expect populations to show dampened variability. We test this hypothesis using annual abundance indices from 19 butterfly species across 79 British monitoring sites between 1976 and 2009, a period of climatic warming. We found that populations in the latter (warmer) half of the recording period show reduced interannual population variability. Species with more southerly European distributions showed the greatest dampening in population variability over time. Our results suggest that increases in population variability occur towards climatic range boundaries. British sites, previously existing at the margins of suitable climate space, now appear to fall closer to the core climatic range for many butterfly species.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02659.x
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
CEH Sections: Pywell
ISSN: 1354-1013
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This document is the author’s final manuscript version of the journal article, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer review process. Some differences between this and the publisher’s version remain. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from this article. The definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com
Additional Keywords: climate change, geographical range, interannual fluctuations, niche space, population dynamics
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 May 2012 14:47
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/17999

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