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Colour pattern variation can inform about extinction risk in moths
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6398-1617
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (EEMiS)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9598-7618
2017 (English)In: Animal Conservation, ISSN 1367-9430, E-ISSN 1469-1795, Vol. 20, no 1, 72-79 p.Article 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. Vol. 20, no 1, 72-79 p.
Keyword [en]
colour variation; extinction risk; red list; lepidoptera; moth; threat status; trait; niche breath.
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57817DOI: 10.1111/acv.12287ISI: 000396047900012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-57817DiVA: diva2:1044685
Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-04 Last updated: 2017-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Betzholtz, Per-EricForsman, Anders
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf