Menu

Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

With that diet, you will go far: trait-based analysis reveals a link between rapid range expansion and a nitrogen-favoured diet

Author:
  • Per-Erik Betzholtz
  • Lars Pettersson
  • Nils Ryrholm
  • Markus Franzén
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Publication/Series: Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
Volume: 280
Issue: 1750
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

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 butterflies and moths between 1973 and 2010. Of 282 species meeting pre-defined quality criteria, 170 expanded their northern range margin, with a mean expansion rate of 2.7 km per year. The analyses demonstrate that habitat and diet generalists, forest species and species active during warm conditions have expanded their ranges more rapidly than other species. Notably, range expansion in diet specialists was positively related to a nitrogen-favoured larval diet, an effect not found among oligo- or polyphagous species. In contrast to the general view, this shows that specialist species can undergo rapid range expansion. We suggest that increased areas of nitrogen-rich habitat, and increased availability of a nitrogen-favoured diet, are among the most important drivers of range expansions, potentially having far-reaching consequences for a wide variety of organisms.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • butterfly
  • climate change
  • habitat availability
  • moth
  • species trait
  • Sweden

Other

Published
  • BECC
  • ISSN: 1471-2954
Lars B. Pettersson
E-mail: lars [dot] pettersson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Researcher

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 38 18

+46 70 611 63 45

E-B371

50

Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden