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Betzholtz, P.-E., Forsman, A. & Franzén, M. (2019). Inter-individual variation in colour patterns in noctuid moths characterizes long-distance dispersers and agricultural pests. Journal of applied entomology, 143(9), 992-999
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inter-individual variation in colour patterns in noctuid moths characterizes long-distance dispersers and agricultural pests
2019 (English)In: Journal of applied entomology, ISSN 0931-2048, E-ISSN 1439-0418, Vol. 143, no 9, p. 992-999Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A high capacity for long‐distance dispersal is a key to success for species confronted with environmental heterogeneity, habitat modification, fragmentation and loss. However, dispersal capacity is difficult to quantify and therefore poorly known in most taxa. Here, we report on a test for an association of variation in dispersal capacity with variable colouration of noctuid moths. First, using data from 12 experienced lepidopterologists, we showed that despite variation among experts in average assessments, different species are consistently classified as having non‐variable, variable or highly variable colour patterns when assessed by different experts. We then compared the incidence of non‐resident species with high inter‐individual variation in colour patterns recorded on the isolated island Utklippan (n = 47), with that in a species pool of potential long‐distance dispersers from the nearest mainland (n = 295). Species with high inter‐individual colour pattern variation were over‐represented on the island compared with species having non‐variable colouration. This finding constitutes rare evidence from the wild of long‐distance dispersal, measured on a spatial scale relevant for moths when tracking habitats in fragmented and changing landscapes or when keeping pace with environmental challenges associated with climate change. Finally, we showed that Swedish noctuid moths classified as agricultural pests (n = 28) had more variable colour patterns compared with non‐pests (n = 368). The majority of agricultural pests were also recorded on the isolated island, an outcome that is indicative of pest species having high dispersal capacity. Data on colour pattern variation may thus offer a simple and cost‐effective proxy to estimate dispersal capacity and can also help identify potential pest species. Our findings are potentially useful when modelling and predicting population and range dynamics of species in spatiotemporally heterogeneous environments, with direct implications for conservation biology and pest management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-88584 (URN)10.1111/jen.12670 (DOI)000494886900010 ()
Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2019-11-21Bibliographically approved
Franzén, M., Forsman, A. & Betzholtz, P.-E. (2019). Variable color patterns influence continental range size and species-area relationships on islands. Ecosphere, 10(1), Article ID e02577.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Variable color patterns influence continental range size and species-area relationships on islands
2019 (English)In: Ecosphere, ISSN 2150-8925, E-ISSN 2150-8925, Vol. 10, no 1, article id e02577Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been hypothesized that species with more variable color patterns should have higher establishment success and be less sensitive to environmental changes and local extinction compared with species that do not vary in color. This difference in colonization/extinction balance should manifest as larger continental range distributions and modulate the species-area relationship on true islands. We evaluated these predictions using data for 1216 species of butterflies and moths that differed with regard to inter-individual variation in color pattern. We show that species with more variable color patterns have larger continental range sizes in Europe compared with non-variable species. We also provide rare evidence that the slope of the species-area relationship on islands is steeper for species having non-variable color patterns, suggesting that to preserve 60% of non-variable species would require an area twice as large compared to what would be needed to preserve 60% of variable species. Our findings suggest that combining information on ecological characteristics with presence/absence data from small and medium sized islands can help identify traits that drive species range patterns at the continental scale, and that individual variation in color pattern can be used as a proxy for ecological generalization and the ability to cope with environmental change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2019
Keywords
butterflies, colonization, color pattern variation, extinction, insects, island biogeography, life history, moths, polymorphism, range expansion, species-area relationship, trait
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-80281 (URN)10.1002/ecs2.2577 (DOI)000456857400033 ()2-s2.0-85061078047 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-02-07 Created: 2019-02-07 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved
Betzholtz, P.-E., Franzén, M. & Forsman, A. (2017). Colour pattern variation can inform about extinction risk in moths. Animal Conservation, 20(1), 72-79
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Colour pattern variation can inform about extinction risk in moths
2017 (English)In: Animal Conservation, ISSN 1367-9430, E-ISSN 1469-1795, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 72-79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Theory posits that species with inter-individual variation in colour patterns should beless vulnerable to extinction, compared with species that do not vary in colour. Toevaluate this prediction, we explored whether differences in colour pattern diversitywas associated with extinction risk, using red-list status for more than 350 species ofnoctuid moths in Sweden. We also evaluated six other species characteristics thathave been proposed to influence extinction risk namely: host plant niche breadth,habitat type, area of occupancy, body size, overwintering life-history stage and lengthof flight activity period. We found that species with variable colour patterns hadreduced extinction risk overall compared with species having non-variable colourpatterns, and that this difference was pronounced more strongly among species havingsmaller areas of occupancy. There were also significant associations with hostplant niche breadth and habitat type, extinction risk being lower on average in polyphagousspecies and in generalist species that occupied different habitat types. Thesefindings represent the first evidence for insects that variable colouration is associatedwith reduced extinction risks. Information on colour pattern variation is readily availablefor many taxa and may be used as a cost-effective proxy for endangerment inthe work of halting national and global biodiversity loss.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2017
Keywords
colour variation; extinction risk; red list; lepidoptera; moth; threat status; trait; niche breath.
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57817 (URN)10.1111/acv.12287 (DOI)000396047900012 ()2-s2.0-84973278398 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-04 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved
Forsman, A., Betzholtz, P.-E. & Franzén, M. (2016). Faster poleward range shifts in moths with more variable colour patterns. Scientific Reports, 6, Article ID 36265.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Faster poleward range shifts in moths with more variable colour patterns
2016 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, article id 36265Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Range shifts have been documented in many organisms, and climate change has been implicated asa contributing driver of latitudinal and altitudinal range modifications. However, little is known aboutwhat species trait(s) allow for faster environmental tracking and improved capacity for distributionexpansions. We used data for 416 species of moths, and show that range limits in Sweden have shifted tothe north by on average 52.4 km per decade between 1973 and 2014. When also including non-expandingspecies, average expansion rate was 23.2 km per decade. The rate of boundary shifts increased withincreasing levels of inter-individual variation in colour patterns and decreased with increasing latitude. Theassociation with colour patterns indicate that variation in this functionally important trait enables speciesto cope with novel and changing conditions. Northern range limits also increased with average abundanceand decreased with increasing year-to-year abundance fluctuations, implicating production of dispersersas a driver of range dynamics. Studies of terrestrial animals show that rates of poleward shifts differbetween taxonomic groups, increase over time, and depend on study duration and latitude. Knowledge ofhow distribution shifts change with time, location, and species characteristics may improve projections ofresponses to climate change and aid the protection of biodiversity

National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57818 (URN)10.1038/srep36265 (DOI)000386980600001 ()2-s2.0-84994257658 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-04 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved
Forsman, A., Betzholtz, P.-E. & Franzén, M. (2015). Variable coloration is associated with dampened population fluctuations in noctuid moths. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, 282(1808), 1-9, Article ID 20142922.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Variable coloration is associated with dampened population fluctuations in noctuid moths
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 282, no 1808, p. 1-9, article id 20142922Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Theory and recent reviews state that greater genetic and phenotypic variation should be beneficial for population abundance and stability. Experimental evaluations of this prediction are rare, of short duration and conducted under controlled environmental settings. The question whether greater diversity in functionally important traits stabilizes populations under more complex ecological conditions in the wild has not been systematically evaluated. Moths are mainly nocturnal, with a large variation in colour patterns among species, and constitute an important food source for many types of organisms. Here, we report the results of a long-term (2003-2013) monitoring study of 115 100 noctuid moths from 246 species. Analysis of time-series data provide rare evidence that species with higher levels of inter-individual variation in colour pattern have higher average abundances and undergo smaller between-year fluctuations compared with species having less variable colour patterns. The signature of interspecific temporal synchronization of abundance fluctuations was weak, suggesting that the dynamics were driven by species-specific biotic interactions rather than by some common, density-independent factor(s). We condude that individual variation in colour patterns dampens population abundance fluctuations, and suggest that this may partly reflect that colour pattern polymorphism provides protection from visually oriented predators and parasitoids.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Royal Society of London, 2015
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-43213 (URN)10.1098/rspb.2014.2922 (DOI)000357060800018 ()2-s2.0-84929308487 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2019-08-13Bibliographically approved
Betzholtz, P.-E. & Franzén, M. (2013). Ecological characteristics associated with high mobility in night-active moths. Basic and Applied Ecology, 14(3), 271-279
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ecological characteristics associated with high mobility in night-active moths
2013 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, E-ISSN 1618-0089, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 271-279Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mobility is an important factor influencing the range and persistence of local populations. However, mobility is very difficult to measure empirically and thus is poorly known in most taxa. Since ecological characteristics have been suggested as good estimators of mobility, we here explore the association between ecological characteristics and mobility. We surveyed night-active moths on a Swedish island, situated 16 km from the mainland, and compared ecological characteristics of the non-resident moths found on the island with those of a species pool of assumed potential vagrants from the neighbouring mainland. Species associated with high mobility were characterised by a large range, a high population density, an activity period during warm temperatures and by being habitat generalists or preferring open habitats. The generally assumed view of poly- and oligophagous species being more mobile than monophagous species was obscured by the effect of population density. Poly- and oligophagous species had higher population densities than did monophagous species, which probably explain their higher mobility found in this study. Our result highlights the need to consider the influence of ecological characteristics on mobility. This in turn will have implications for an increased understanding of distribution patterns, population persistence and how to prioritise conservation actions, especially since habitats and climate are under dramatic changes. In taxa where data on mobility are poor, ecological characteristics can be used as a proxy for mobility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier: , 2013
Keywords
Dispersal; Island; Lepidoptera; Life-history trait; Light-trap; Migration; Moth; Species trait; Sweden
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-25318 (URN)10.1016/j.baae.2013.01.004 (DOI)000319062700010 ()2-s2.0-84880043760 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-04-15 Created: 2013-04-15 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
Betzholtz, P.-E., Pettersson, L. B., Ryrholm, N. & Franzén, M. (2013). With that diet, you will go far: trait-based analysis reveals a link between rapid range expansion and a nitrogen-favoured diet.. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, 280(1750), Article ID 20122305.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>With that diet, you will go far: trait-based analysis reveals a link between rapid range expansion and a nitrogen-favoured diet.
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 280, no 1750, article id 20122305Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

National Category
Developmental Biology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-22798 (URN)10.1098/rspb.2012.2305 (DOI)000311943100029 ()23173209 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84869829545 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-12-12 Created: 2012-12-12 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
Franzén, M. & Betzholtz, P.-E. (2012). Species traits predict island occupancy in noctuid moths. Journal of Insect Conservation, 16(2), 155-163
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Species traits predict island occupancy in noctuid moths
2012 (English)In: Journal of Insect Conservation, ISSN 1366-638X, E-ISSN 1572-9753, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 155-163Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowing how species’ traits relate to processes that underlie occupancy patterns such as colonisation and population persistence, is important for our understanding of how species survive in fragmented and changing landscapes. We used automatic UV light-traps to sample noctuidmoths on two remote islands, and compared traits of island occupants with those of a species pool from mainland southeast Sweden. Widely distributed species, generalist species, species with a long adult activity period and species active late in the summer had higher probability of occupancy on the remote islands. The results were consistent between islands. The traits of host plant specificity and species with an adult activity period during late summer remained robust and were statistically significant after controlling for any possible phylogenetic bias. This indicates that species exhibiting those traits survive better when habitat and climate changes. It is crucial to includeour results in; (1) conservation planning, e.g. when devising conservation measures in fragmented landscapes; (2) for predictions of future occupancy patterns; and (3) ecosystem impact assessments, e.g. the importance of moths as pollinators, herbivores and being the functional link between parasitoids, plants, consumers and predators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2012
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18079 (URN)10.1007/s10841-011-9401-z (DOI)000301588900001 ()2-s2.0-84858151090 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-03-22 Created: 2012-03-22 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
Franzén, M., Schweiger, O. & Betzholtz, P.-E. (2012). Species-area relationships are controlled by species traits. PLoS ONE, 7(5), Article ID e37359.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Species-area relationships are controlled by species traits
2012 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 5, article id e37359Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The species-area relationship (SAR) is one of the most thoroughly investigated empirical relationships in ecology. Two theories have been proposed to explain SARs: classical island biogeography theory and niche theory. Classical island biogeography theory considers the processes of persistence, extinction, and colonization, whereas niche theory focuses on species requirements, such as habitat and resource use. Recent studies have called for the unification of these two theories to better explain the underlying mechanisms that generates SARs. In this context, species traits that can be related to each theory seem promising. Here we analyzed the SARs of butterfly and moth assemblages on islands differing in size and isolation. We tested whether species traits modify the SAR and the response to isolation. In addition to the expected overall effects on the area, traits related to each of the two theories increased the model fit, from 69% up to 90%. Steeper slopes have been shown to have a particularly higher sensitivity to area, which was indicated by species with restricted range (slope  = 0.82), narrow dietary niche (slope  = 0.59), low abundance (slope  = 0.52), and low reproductive potential (slope  = 0.51). We concluded that considering species traits by analyzing SARs yields considerable potential for unifying island biogeography theory and niche theory, and that the systematic and predictable effects observed when considering traits can help to guide conservation and management actions.

National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18975 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0037359 (DOI)2-s2.0-84861313380 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-05-28 Created: 2012-05-28 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
Betzholtz, P.-E. & Franzén, M. (2011). Mobility is related to species traits in noctuid moths. Ecological Entomology, 36, 369-376
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mobility is related to species traits in noctuid moths
2011 (English)In: Ecological Entomology, ISSN 0307-6946, E-ISSN 1365-2311, Vol. 36, p. 369-376Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract. 1. Mobility is important for the understanding of how species survive infragmented landscapes and cope with increasing rates of habitat and climate change.However, mobility is a difficult trait to explore and is poorly known in most taxa.Species traits have been studied in relation to range shifts, extinction risks, andresponses to habitat area and isolation, and have also been suggested as good estimatorsof mobility. Here we explore the relation between mobility and species traits in noctuidmoths.2. We sampled noctuid moths by an automatic light-trap on an island far out in theBaltic Sea. We compared traits of the non-resident species on the island with traits ofa species pool of assumed potential migrants from the Swedish mainland.3. Mobility was significantly related to adult activity period, length of flightperiod, and the interaction between host-plant specificity and distribution area. Widelydistributed host-plant generalists were more mobile than host-plant specialists withmore restricted distribution, and species with an adult activity period in August toSeptember moved to the island to a higher extent than species with an adult activityperiod in May to July. Our results remained qualitatively robust in additional analyses,after controlling for phylogeny and including all species recorded on the island, exceptfor the trait ‘length of flight period’.4. Our results highlight the importance of the relation between mobility and speciestraits. Noctuid moths with certain traits move over longer distances than earlier known.This finding is important to include when predicting range dynamics in fragmentedand changing landscapes, and when conservation measures of species are devised.

National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-15090 (URN)10.1111/j.1365-2311.2011.01281.x (DOI)2-s2.0-79955668920 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2011-12-08 Created: 2011-10-24 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
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Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6398-1617

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