Changes in phenology and in body size are two of the three main consequences of global warming on organisms. We investigated whether living in a warm artificial habitat would induce changes in the phenology and body size of dragonflies. We monitored in natura the emergence pattern of three protected and red-listed dragonfly species in three geographically close systems which differ in thermal profiles: a medium-sized river, one of its tributaries and an artificial lake fed by the water of the tributary. We also investigated the morphological variability of one of the species between the three systems. We showed an asynchrony of emergence for the three species, as well as morphological variability between the lake and the two rivers. Individuals from the lake emerged earlier and were smaller than those from the two rivers. These results are in agreement with a temperature-induced response hypothesis as the lake is warmer than the two rivers. Asynchrony of emergence between neighbouring populations triggers questions related to metapopulation functioning and about the fitness and the fate of the early-emerging individuals. Understanding the response of these species to local thermal conditions will help to improve population monitoring and conservation.
Journal of Insect Conservation – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2018
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