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The dependence of butterfly flight on temperature

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Presented at the 2008 U.S. Department of Energy Global Change Eduction Program Summer Undergraduate Research Experience End-of-Summer Workshop

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The dependence of butterfly flight on temperature

  1. 1. The Dependence of Butterfly Flight on Temperature Megan Stachura Advisor: Jessica Hellmann U.S. Department of Energy Global Change Education Program Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
  2. 2. Propertius Duskywing Skipper <ul><ul><li>Erynnis propertius </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oak specialist </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Butterfly Flight <ul><li>Essential to male feeding, mate location and courtship </li></ul><ul><li>Essential to female feeding and oviposition </li></ul><ul><li>Limiting factor in reproductive output </li></ul><ul><li>Key component of fitness </li></ul>
  4. 4. Temperature and Flight <ul><li>Flight can only occur within the voluntary flight activity range </li></ul><ul><li>Ectotherm </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral thermoregulation </li></ul><ul><li>Air temperature is the best predictor variable of body temperature (Howe et al. 2007) </li></ul>Body Temperature Flight No Flight Howe et al. 2007 <ul><li>Air temperature </li></ul><ul><li>Microhabitat temperature </li></ul><ul><li>Windspeed </li></ul><ul><li>Solar radiation averaged over last 4 min </li></ul><ul><li>Instantaneous solar radiation intensity </li></ul>
  5. 5. Global Climate Change <ul><li>Increased severity of heat waves </li></ul>Meehl & Tebaldi 2004
  6. 6. Research Questions <ul><li>How is flight related to air temperature? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a difference in the relationship between flight and temperature for butterflies of different: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Region </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Field Data Collection <ul><li>Data for 6 sites on Vancouver Island for 2003-2007 and 5 sites in Oregon and California for 2005-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Observers walked along transects, spending 1-1.5 min per 30 m segment, recording all butterflies observed </li></ul><ul><li>Weather data </li></ul>800 Km
  8. 8. Field Data Results <ul><li>Paired T-Test: p = .106 </li></ul><ul><li>Indicates marginal difference between </li></ul><ul><li>North and South in standardized butterflies </li></ul><ul><li>Optimum Activity Range (Standardized butterflies ≥ 1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>North: 11.2 – 26.0°C </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>South: 15.6 – 26.2°C </li></ul></ul>17.7°C 20.8°C
  9. 9. Laboratory Experiment <ul><li>4 sites </li></ul><ul><li>Field-collected eggs reared in greenhouse </li></ul><ul><li>Tested flight ability at 12 - 45°C </li></ul><ul><li>Flight box within temperature controlled chamber </li></ul><ul><li>Agitated to induce flight </li></ul><ul><li>Recorded on digital video camera </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum flight time determined for each temperature </li></ul>
  10. 10. Laboratory Experiment Video
  11. 11. Laboratory Experiment Results 31.5° C
  12. 12. Laboratory Experiment Results <ul><li>MANOVA for maximum flight time and temperature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Site not significant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Genetics show little population variation in neutral markers in this region (Zakharov & Hellmann 2008) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sex marginally significant to maximum flight time (p = 0.135) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age significant to maximum flight temperature (p = 0.000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperature sequence significant to maximum flight temperature (p = 0.001) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Significant difference in maximum flight temperature between different age groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ANOVA: p = 0.000 </li></ul></ul>A AB B B
  14. 14. <ul><li>Significant difference in maximum flight temperature when butterflies were tested from 12°C to 45°C or 45°C to 12°C </li></ul><ul><ul><li>T-Test: p = 0.001 </li></ul></ul>30.5°C 36.2°C
  15. 15. Field Data Conclusions <ul><li>Optimum temperature for flight is 17.7°C at Northern sites and 20.8°C at Southern sites </li></ul><ul><li>Northern butterflies are adapted to fly in colder weather conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Increased severity of heat waves and other temperature changes caused by climate change may negatively affect flight by shifting temperatures outside of the optimum activity range for both regions </li></ul>
  16. 16. Laboratory Experiment Conclusions <ul><li>Optimum temperature for flight is 31.5°C </li></ul><ul><li>Males have higher maximum flight time, as previous research has shown </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreasing available flight time may most affect females and limit oviposition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Youngest butterflies have lowest maximum flight temperature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing temperatures may most affect the youngest butterflies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Southern habitat range may experience even higher extreme temperatures, outside of optimum flight temperature range, due to climate change </li></ul>
  17. 17. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Jessica Hellmann, Shannon Pelini, Jason Dzurisin, Travis Marisco, Jessica Keppel, Chris Lambert, Katrina Hill </li></ul>

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