Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




CLIMATE SCIENCE
UK butterfly populations threatened by extreme drought and landscape fragmentation
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Nov 02, 2012


illustration only

A new study has found that the sensitivity and recovery of UK butterfly populations to extreme drought is affected by the overall area and degree of fragmentation of key habitat types in the landscape.

The analysis, published in the scientific journal Ecography, used data on the Ringlet butterfly collected from 79 UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme sites between 1990 and 1999, a period which spanned a severe drought event in 1995.

The study was led by Dr Tom Oliver from the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in collaboration with colleagues from CEH and the charity Butterfly Conservation.

Lead author Dr Tom Oliver from the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology said, "Most ecological climate change studies focus on species' responses to gradual temperature rise, but it may be that extreme weather will actually have the greatest impact on our wildlife. We have provided the first evidence that species responses to extreme events may be affected by the habitat structure in the wider countryside; for example in the total area and fragmentation (i.e. isolation) of woodland patches."

The UK has suffered from a number of severe droughts over the last few decades (e.g. 1976, 1995). Under global warming, the frequency of such summer droughts is expected to increase. The intense summer drought in 1995 led to marked declines in insect species associated with cooler and wetter microclimates and scientists are interested in how to make species populations more resilient, i.e. more resistant to and more able to recover from these extreme climate events.

The Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus is a grass-feeding butterfly commonly found close to woodland edges and known to be susceptible to drought effects. The researchers found that, following the 1995 drought, Ringlet populations not only crashed most severely in drier regions but, additionally, the habitat structure in the wider countryside around sites influenced population responses. Larger and more connected patches of woodland habitat reduced population sensitivity to the drought event and also facilitated faster recovery.

Co-author Dr Tom Brereton from Butterfly Conservation said, "Our results suggest that landscape-scale conservation projects are vital in helping species to recover from extreme events expected under climate change. However, conversely, if we do nothing, the high levels of habitat fragmentation will mean species are more susceptible."

Although many Ringlet populations did show some recovery following 1995-1996 population crashes, the long-term situation of the species in some parts of the UK is worrying. The researchers found that 18% of Ringlet butterfly populations continued to decline in the subsequent three years. The majority of populations showed positive recovery, although only 33% of populations showed complete recovery to pre-drought population levels within three years.

Co-author Dr David Roy from the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology added, "The delayed recovery of butterfly populations is worrying given that severe summer droughts are expected to become common in some areas of the UK, for example, South East England. If populations don't recover by the time the next drought hits, they may face gradual erosion until local extinction."

The research will be published in the journal Ecography on 31 October 2012. Reference: Tom H. Oliver(1), Tom Brereton(2) and David B. Roy(1). 2012. Population resilience to an extreme drought is influenced by habitat area and fragmentation in the local landscape. Ecography 35: 001-008, 2012 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07665.x

.


Related Links
NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CLIMATE SCIENCE
Global drought a 'new normal': report
New York (UPI) Oct 18, 2012
Increasing drought conditions across the planet are part of a "new normal" which oddly presents new business opportunities, a new Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says. The report comes just after insurer Munich Re's findings that North America has borne the brunt of weather-related natural catastrophes, with 30,000 deaths and insured losses of $510 billion in the 1980-2011 period. ... read more


CLIMATE SCIENCE
Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

Astrium presents results of its study into automatic landing near the Moon's south pole

European mission to search for moon water

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Survey Of Matijevic Hill Continues

Preliminary Self-Portrait of Curiosity by Rover's Arm Camera

Nereidum Montes helps unlock Mars' glacial past

Curiosity's Tastes of Martian Soil Offer Insights on Mineral Composition

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Voyager observes magnetic field fluctuations in heliosheath

New NASA Online Science Resource Available for Educators and Students

'First' Pakistan astronaut wants to make peace in space

Space daredevil Baumgartner is 'officially retired'

CLIMATE SCIENCE
China to launch 11 meteorological satellites by 2020

China makes progress in spaceflight research

Patience for Tiangong

China launches civilian technology satellites

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Crew Prepares for Spacewalk After Progress Docks

Crew Preparing for Cargo Ship, Spacewalk

Russian cargo ship docks with ISS: official

Packed Week Ahead for Six-Member Crew

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Globalstar Birds To Launch On Soyuz Next February

Ariane 5s are readied in parallel for Arianespace's next heavy-lift flights

Japan Plans to Launch New Carrier Rocket in 2013

EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 Set For Ariane 5 November Launch

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Physicists confirm first planet discovered in a quadruple star system

Planet-hunt data released to public

New Study Brings a Doubted Exoplanet 'Back from the Dead'

New small satellite will study super-Earths for ESA

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Android smartphone shipments boom: industry tracker

Samsung sells 3 mn Galaxy Note II smartphones since debut

Apple iPad mini makes low key debut

Spaceflight Completes Secondary Payload System Preliminary Design Review With Hardware Fabrication Underway




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement