Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

Butterflies move north due to hot summers

RATE THIS! +1
Posted in Science on 25th May, 2012 06:29 PM by AlexMuller

Once rare UK butterflies have been moving further north due to a pattern of hot summers, say researchers.

 

The brown argus, one of Britain's smallest butterflies, was limited to sun-loving shrubs on chalk grassland.

 

But since the 1990s the species has been expanding its range, using different plants to host their eggs.

 

Scientists from the University of York attribute this to rising summer temperatures.

 

Analysing records made by volunteers with the charity Butterfly Conservation, Rachel Pateman and colleagues at the University of York and the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology identified that populations of the butterfly have spread 79km (49 miles) further north in 20 years.

 

"The butterfly is now present throughout much of the south and east of England as far north as South and East Yorkshire," explained Ms Pateman whose study was published in the journal Science.

 

"This is unusual for species which are considered fairly scarce and specialised and so we were interested to discover what might have caused this rapid range expansion."

 

The amateur records held another clue for researchers as the butterflies seemed to have broadened their taste in host plants. In the past the insects only fed upon rockrose, now their tastes include Geraniums such as dove's-foot cranesbill.

 

"Warm summers have benefited the brown argus butterfly by allowing it to become less picky," Ms Pateman told BBC Nature.

 

"The Geranium species used are very widespread in the landscape and so this has enabled the rapid expansion of the butterfly."

 

According to the scientists, rising summer temperatures are responsible for the warmth-loving butterflies' success.

 

Their investigation of climate data for the UK identified the link: summer temperatures from 1990 to 2009 were on average 0.78% warmer than previous summers, dating back to 1800.

 

"We think the brown argus was previously restricted to using rockrose because it grows in places with particularly warm microclimates and therefore was suitable when conditions were particularly cool," Ms Pateman said, explaining that the yellow-flowered shrub is typically found in "short turf on southerly-facing slopes."

 

"Geranium species, however, tend to grow in cooler places and so were unsuitable for brown argus when the climate was cooler," she said.

 

"As temperatures have increased we think the locations where Geranium species grow have now become warm enough for the brown argus."

 

Researchers focussed on the counties of Suffolk and Bedfordshire in their study, where recording the orange spotted wings of the brown butterflies is particularly popular.

 

"There has been an increase in recording over the years. However, when methods have been used to control for this, an increase in the distribution of brown argus is still found," said Ms Pateman.

 

"The records submitted by volunteers are an extremely valuable resource, without which the detection of long-term patterns like this would not be possible."
 



Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2017-06-27 12:49:19
    VR content production: How to take advantage of the VR wave ..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-06-27 12:37:11
    6 Things That Quantum Computers Will Be Incredibly Useful.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-06-27 12:32:45
    How lack of sleep affects the brain..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-06-26 14:35:26
    France to ban all new oil and gas exploration in.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-06-26 14:23:06
    Varjo Promises Human-Eye Resolutions For VR This Year..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me