Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Effects of Warming on the Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly: An Exploration of the Sensitivity of Life History Stages and Traits
by Bristow, Lainey Virginia, M.S., University of Notre Dame, 2017, 157; 13836472
Abstract (Summary)

The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis ) is an endangered species living in fragmented landscapes within the Midwest and Eastern U.S. Being a specialist feeder and ectotherm, the Karner blue may be highly susceptible to climate change. Therefore, we pursued several experiments to explore its climate change sensitivity.

Warming caused earlier emergence and accelerated development, which lead to additional generations and lower degree-day accumulation. Adult mass and size decreased among the highest warming treatment, and with additional generations. Smaller mass and body size females produced fewer eggs. Additional flights experienced smaller population sizes and lower egg outputs. Lastly, we found that higher temperatures limited flight activity.

Based on these findings, we suggest assisting populations during years of phenological mismatch, managing protected areas as novel ecosystems, and practicing adaptive management. We suggest that land managers can draw on vulnerability assessments that evaluate a species’ resistance and resilience to climate change.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hellmann, Jessia J.
Commitee: Feder, Jeffrey, Hellmann, Jessica J., McLachlan, Jason
School: University of Notre Dame
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: MAI 58/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Entomology, Conservation biology
Keywords: Climate change, Development and physiology, Endangered species, Entomology, Management implications, Vulnerability assessment
Publication Number: 13836472
ISBN: 978-0-438-83658-7
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