The impact of urban development on butterflies within a city region

The impact of urban development on butterflies within a city region The effect of urban development on butterfly species' richness and species' incidence is tested for the Greater Manchester conurbation and two sample areas, mapped at finer scales, within the southern part of the conurbation. The tests include measures of bias for recording effort (number of visits). Species' richness is found to increase with percentage urban cover for Greater Manchester (tetrad scale) and decrease with urban cover for the two sample areas in South West Manchester (1 km scale) and the Mersey Valley (100 m scale). For Greater Manchester, the increase in species' richness with increased urban cover is largely explained by lower species' richness at higher altitude in the Pennines bounding the conurbation. For the two sample areas, decreasing species' richness associated with increasing urban cover corresponds with reductions in the areas of a number of semi-natural habitats, hostplants and nectar sources. Despite these statistically significant correlations, the impact of urban cover on species' richness is weak. The maximum loss rate identified anywhere within the region is 0.81 species per 10% change in urban cover for South West Manchester. This finding may reflect on the generally low species diversity of the region. However, these results could be influenced by recording and sampling artefacts, particularly the failure of mapping programmes to distinguish vagrant individuals from breeding populations and a bias of records to vagrants. This is supported by the higher correlations between species' incidence and nectar sources than between species' incidence and their hostplants. Adult butterflies are opportunistic nectar users and nectar sources are more widely spread and thus less influenced by urban development than are specific butterfly hostplants. The finding may also reflect on the capacity of most of the butterfly species to breed successfully on tiny areas of hostplant existing within extensively built-up areas. Moreover, the capacity of butterfly species to persist by using small fragments of hostplants would be enhanced by vagrancy. If this is indeed the case, it is a finding that would support the value of small patches in butterfly metapopulations, albeit ones comprising incomplete complements of resources required during the life cycle. The incidence of most species decreases with increase in urban cover. Multivariate analyses indicate that this is owing to corresponding declines in hostplant-habitats and nectar sources. Five species increase with urban cover, but none attain formal significance. Associations among hostplants and habitat variables in a principal components analysis suggest that, in three cases (Pieris brassicae, P. rapae, Celastrina argiolus), this is owing to increasing areas of their hostplants within urban environments. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biodiversity and Conservation Springer Journals

The impact of urban development on butterflies within a city region

Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 8 (9) – Sep 29, 2004

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-journals/the-impact-of-urban-development-on-butterflies-within-a-city-region-PNSt2xNWRJ
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Life Sciences; Evolutionary Biology; Tree Biology; Plant Sciences
ISSN
0960-3115
eISSN
1572-9710
DOI
10.1023/A:1008984905413
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The effect of urban development on butterfly species' richness and species' incidence is tested for the Greater Manchester conurbation and two sample areas, mapped at finer scales, within the southern part of the conurbation. The tests include measures of bias for recording effort (number of visits). Species' richness is found to increase with percentage urban cover for Greater Manchester (tetrad scale) and decrease with urban cover for the two sample areas in South West Manchester (1 km scale) and the Mersey Valley (100 m scale). For Greater Manchester, the increase in species' richness with increased urban cover is largely explained by lower species' richness at higher altitude in the Pennines bounding the conurbation. For the two sample areas, decreasing species' richness associated with increasing urban cover corresponds with reductions in the areas of a number of semi-natural habitats, hostplants and nectar sources. Despite these statistically significant correlations, the impact of urban cover on species' richness is weak. The maximum loss rate identified anywhere within the region is 0.81 species per 10% change in urban cover for South West Manchester. This finding may reflect on the generally low species diversity of the region. However, these results could be influenced by recording and sampling artefacts, particularly the failure of mapping programmes to distinguish vagrant individuals from breeding populations and a bias of records to vagrants. This is supported by the higher correlations between species' incidence and nectar sources than between species' incidence and their hostplants. Adult butterflies are opportunistic nectar users and nectar sources are more widely spread and thus less influenced by urban development than are specific butterfly hostplants. The finding may also reflect on the capacity of most of the butterfly species to breed successfully on tiny areas of hostplant existing within extensively built-up areas. Moreover, the capacity of butterfly species to persist by using small fragments of hostplants would be enhanced by vagrancy. If this is indeed the case, it is a finding that would support the value of small patches in butterfly metapopulations, albeit ones comprising incomplete complements of resources required during the life cycle. The incidence of most species decreases with increase in urban cover. Multivariate analyses indicate that this is owing to corresponding declines in hostplant-habitats and nectar sources. Five species increase with urban cover, but none attain formal significance. Associations among hostplants and habitat variables in a principal components analysis suggest that, in three cases (Pieris brassicae, P. rapae, Celastrina argiolus), this is owing to increasing areas of their hostplants within urban environments.

Journal

Biodiversity and ConservationSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 29, 2004

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off