Home About Browse Search

Host plant density and patch isolation drive occupancy and abundance at a butterfly's northern range margin

Fourcade, Yoan and Öckinger, Erik (2017). Host plant density and patch isolation drive occupancy and abundance at a butterfly's northern range margin. Ecology and evolution. 7 , 331-345
[Research article]

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Marginal populations are usually small, fragmented, and vulnerable to extinction, which makes them particularly interesting from a conservation point of view. They are also the starting point of range shifts that result from climate change, through a process involving colonization of newly suitable sites at the cool margin of species distributions. Hence, understanding the processes that drive demography and distribution at high-latitude populations is essential to forecast the response of species to global changes. We investigated the relative importance of solar irradiance (as a proxy for microclimate), habitat quality, and connectivity on occupancy, abundance, and population stability at the northern range margin of the Oberthur's grizzled skipper butterfly Pyrgus armoricanus. For this purpose, butterfly abundance was surveyed in a habitat network consisting of 50 habitat patches over 12 years. We found that occupancy and abundance (average and variability) were mostly influenced by the density of host plants and the spatial isolation of patches, while solar irradiance and grazing frequency had only an effect on patch occupancy. Knowing that the distribution of host plants extends further north, we hypothesize that the actual variable limiting the northern distribution of P. armoricanus might be its dispersal capacity that prevents it from reaching more northern habitat patches. The persistence of this metapopulation in the face of global changes will thus be fundamentally linked to the maintenance of an efficient network of habitats.

Authors/Creators:Fourcade, Yoan and Öckinger, Erik
Title:Host plant density and patch isolation drive occupancy and abundance at a butterfly's northern range margin
Series Name/Journal:Ecology and evolution
Year of publishing :2017
Page range:331-345
Number of Pages:15
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:climate change, habitats, Lepidoptera
Keywords:climate change, habitat quality, land-use, metapopulation, microclimate, peripheral populations
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000392069500027
ID Code:14701
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
External funders:Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and Swedish Research Council
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:13 Nov 2017 11:29
Metadata Last Modified:11 Jan 2018 12:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics