Some like it hot: Moth and butterfly species respond differently to climate change

October 30, 2015
Morpho didius – Museum specimen. Credit: Wikipedia

New research led by ecologists at the University of York shows that certain species of moths and butterflies are becoming more common, and others rarer, as species differ in how they respond to climate change.

Collaborating with the Natural Environment Research Council's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the charity Butterfly Conservation, the University of Reading and Rothamsted Research, scientists analysed how the abundance and distribution of 155 of British butterflies and moths have changed since the 1970s.

Using data collected by thousands of volunteers through 'citizen science' schemes, responses to recent climate change were seen to vary greatly from species to species.

Published in Science Advances, this research shows variation among species is attributed to differing sensitivity to climate change, and also because species vary in how much the climate has changed for them (their 'exposure').

Sensitivity is a measure of how much species' numbers change as a result of year-to-year changes in the weather - each species is sensitive to different aspects of the climate, such as winter temperature or summer rainfall. Variation in how much the climate they are sensitive to has changed for them - their 'exposure' - is also a contributing factor in their varied responses.

Results show that species such as the treble brown spot moth (Idaea trigeminata) and the speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) which are sensitive to climate, and for which the climate has improved the most, have experienced the greatest increases in their distribution size and abundance.

Conversely, other species, such as the grizzled skipper butterfly (Pyrgus malvae), the September thorn moth (Ennomos erosaria) and the mouse moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis), have experienced deteriorating climates resulting in declines in abundance and distribution size.

Georgina Palmer, Lead author and Research Associate in the University of York's Department of Biology, said: "Species are sensitive to different aspects of the climate, which results in species being exposed to different levels of climate change. Nearly two-thirds of the changes in abundance can be explained by these species-specific differences. This means that their responses to climate change may be more predictable than previously recognised."

Dr Tom Oliver, Co-author and Associate Professor in Landscape Ecology at the University of Reading, said: "Climate appears to have a key role in determining the distributions and abundances of species. Our next steps will be to determine the role of habitat availability in influencing species responses as the climate changes."

Dr Jason Chapman, Co-author at Rothamsted Research, said: "This study utilises large amounts of long-running data collected by volunteers through schemes such as the Rothamsted Insect Survey, run by Rothamsted Research, and the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, run by Butterfly Conservation. Such data is a valuable resource to scientists, allowing us to describe the changes in distribution and abundance of species and to understand why these changes are taking place."

Richard Fox, Head of Recording at Butterfly Conservation, said: "Butterflies and moths provide important ecosystem services such as prey for insectivorous birds, as well as being an important part of our natural heritage. These species have also long been used to study the health of ecosystems, as indicators of biodiversity.

"This research allows us to identify species likely to respond favourably to climate change, as well as those which are vulnerable to climate change. The results are surprising and significant as conservationists had assumed that most butterflies and moths in cool, rainy Britain would benefit from climate change, at least in the short term. However, this research suggests many are already declining due to the changing climate."

Professor Jane Hill, Co-author and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of York, said: "We know that the distributions and abundances of species are affected by climate, and unless we take action to minimise climate change, for example by reducing emissions, these impacts will continue. Our study allows us to target conservation efforts on those species that are most negatively affected by climate, to help them persist under future ."

Professor Chris Thomas, in the University of York's Department of Biology, added: "The great puzzle has been why some species of moth and butterflies have been increasing and spreading, whilst others have declined in the last 40 years. Now we know that most of the differences arise because each species responds in a different way to the climate. Some like it hot, some like it cold. Some like it hot in winter but not in summer. Some like it wet in spring, others dry in the autumn.

"It turns out that these 155 different species of and moth have almost 155 different 'opinions' on how much the climate has changed, and whether it has got better or worse. Climate change is causing massive alterations to our wildlife."

Explore further: Gourmet butterflies speed north: study

More information: Individualistic sensitivities and exposure to climate change explain variation in species' distribution and abundance changes, Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400220

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16 comments

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JVK
1 / 5 (6) Oct 30, 2015
Re: "...each species is sensitive to different aspects of the climate, such as winter temperature or summer rainfall. Variation in how much the climate they are sensitive to has changed for them - their 'exposure' - is also a contributing factor in their varied responses."

This links climate change from the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction in moths and butterflies and all other invertebrate and vertebrate morphological and behavioral phenotypes via thermodynamic cycles of biophysically constrained RNA-mediated protein folding chemistry. Then they ask what some species like more than others about whether they can find enough food (and/or water) to reproduce.

The underlying question is why they simply don't evolve into another species via mutations and natural selection for foods they prefer and better climates. Simply put, why haven't they mutated and evolved to humans that spend winters in the south and summers up north?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2015
Simply put, why haven't they mutated and evolved ...spend winters in the south and summers up north?
logical fallacy and strawman argument
argument from ignorance as well

plus, there are examples of butterflies who migrate- like the Danaus plexippus- a milkweed butterfly in the family Nymphalidae (subfamily: Danainae)

of course, you were trying to be stupid and add your own ignorant "shock" commentary (religious based) regarding this particular species, however, you didn't actually know that some butterflies actually DO migrate

for further reference, you should at least take the 30 seconds to actually research (at least topically) the subject you will be trolling on so that you don't look completely ignorant, especially WRT biology, etc

https://en.wikipe...utterfly
JVK
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2015
there are examples of butterflies who migrate


They migrate or die when they run out of food, which is required to support their nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction.

See: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model.
http://www.ncbi.n...24693353
Vietvet
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2015
See: JVK's model destroyed

http://www.ncbi.n...4049134/
Vietvet
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2015
On 30 Oct. 2015 JVK wrote: " the fact that final causes, design, and purpose exist in nature in the context of creation, not neo-Darwinism."

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

So creation is a fact, a statement completely free of any evidence, hence a religious declaration
and not the least bit scientific.
JVK
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2015
ALS/FTD Mutation-Induced Phase Transition of FUS Liquid Droplets and Reversible Hydrogels into Irreversible Hydrogels Impairs RNP Granule Function http://www.cell.c...900924-1

Everything currently known about biophysically constrained nutrient-dependent protein folding chemistry links it to RNA-mediated cell type differentiation in all living genera via the physiology of reproduction. The link to this open access article attests to the accurate representations of biologically-based cause and effect that link atoms to ecosystems via conserved molecular mechanisms that I have detailed in a series of reviews during the past 20 years.

Nothing I have learned falls outside the context of current creationist views that link nutritional epigenetics from metabolic networks to genetic networks, unless viruses steal the energy that is required.

The energy theft is the basis for neo-Darwinian theories of mutation-driven evolution.
Vietvet
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2015

Nothing I have learned falls outside the context of current creationist views

@JVK

Current creationists view include:
"The biblical record of primeval earth history in Genesis 1-11 is fully historical and perspicuous, including the creation and Fall of man, the Curse on the Creation and its subjection to the bondage of decay, the promised Redeemer, the worldwide cataclysmic deluge in the days of Noah, the post-diluvian renewal of man's commission to subdue the earth (now augmented by the institution of human government), and the origin of nations and languages at the tower of Babel."

You endorse this creationist view from the site you were banned from linking.by PO.

Religious zealotry has no place in science, it's the reason you have zero credibility.
JVK
1 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2015
Do not presume to tell others what anyone else endorses or why. You are not intelligent enough to make any claims, but are ignorant enough to attack -- like many others.

I endorse accurate representations of biologically-based cause and effect when I see them, as do other serious scientists who recognize the accurate representations -- in the creationist literature, or not.

When you see other serious scientists politely attack pseudoscientists as they do in this musical parody of ignorance displayed by evolutionary theorists, you should stop to reconsider your defense.

https://www.youtu...youtu.be All About that Base (Meghan Trainor Parody)

Clearly, the moderators here are willing to tolerate your attacks and the attacks by other biologically uninformed science idiots. But that does not mean you should not prepare to defend yourself and your accusations, either before or after your overwhelming ignorance is revealed... YOU MORON!
Vietvet
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2015
@JVK

You've repeatedly boasted of being a creationists.

You've repeatedly lied about peer reviewed research.

Until you were banned by PO for doing so you repeatedly linked to a religious young earth creationist site.

You've repeatedly called highly accomplished researchers "science idiots"

You've repeatedly failed at reading comprehension.

Your use of "serious scientists" is code for "creation scientists" and that is an oxymoron

I've never had a comment deleted, you have.

I've never been banned from providing a link, you have.

I've never been banned from any site, you have.

I've never tried to make a dishonest dollar, you have with your pseudo science "perfume".

The problem starts with your young earth creationist views. You torture everything known in biology to fit those views, evidence be damned.

JVK
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2015
From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior http://www.hawaii...ion.html

Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model
http://www.ncbi.n...24693353
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2015
I endorse accurate representations of biologically-based cause and effect when I see them
@jk
no, you don't. especially if you would publicly post the following
Nothing I have learned falls outside the context of current creationist views
considering there is NO SCIENCE in creationist anything, and this is not a matter of debate, as it is proven fact as well as upheld by the supreme court (see: https://en.wikipe...Arkansas ), this means, by definition, you are a pseudoscience supporting religious fanatic attempting to proselytize her religious views on a science site

AND, per your own admission: your model is not only a FAILURE, but it can't possibly work!
it requires mutations, but you state emphatically that all mutations are deleterious or pathological, thus either you are stupid or your model is garbage

i vote the latter, considering this refute:
http://www.socioa...ew/24367
JVK
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2015
Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology
http://www.nel.ed...view.htm

The Mind's Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences
http://www.sexarc...kohl.htm
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2015
Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology

and until you can reconcile the fact that there is no "obust bioassay-led evidence for the
widely published claims that four steroid molecules are human pheromones", then any claim you make regarding the existence of Human Pheromones is simply another unsubstantiated conjecture that is irrelevant and without merit

http://rspb.royal...full.pdf

the simple fact that you can't even justify your belief in Human Pheromones with any validated scientific evidence proves your need and desire for validation from some means

until you can actually provide evidence then you are simply another pseudoscience crackpot selling snake-oil to the stupid (and religious)

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2015
Human pheromones:
blah blah blah Human pheromones blahblahblah
@jk cont'd
besides the fact that you have no actual reproducible validated evidence for the existence of human pheromones... as noted in the link here: http://rspb.royal...full.pdf

why is it you felt that linking your prior BS means something other than stoking your ego?
this is not an argument regarding whether you have actually tried to publish... it is an argument about validated factual evidence and science

the simple fact that you continue to post your own BS and religious malarky only substantiates the claims that you have no evidence, robust or otherwise
you should read this - it talks about you

https://www.psych...ttle-ego

Myers was right!

JVK
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
you can't even justify your belief in Human Pheromones with any validated scientific evidence


Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction http://www.ncbi.n...16290036

Anyone who thinks the conserved molecular mechanisms of biophysically constrained RNA-mediated protein folding chemistry do not link microbes to humans via their nutrient-dependent physiology of reproduction is a biologically uninformed science idiot, like PZ Myers, who prefers definitions and assumptions about how long it might take for mutations to lead to the evolution of a new species.

The idiots, like Myers, use definitions of "pheromones" in claims that do not link the "re-evolution" of the bacterial flagellum over-the-weekend to anything known to serious scientists about the RNA-mediated events that protect organized genomes from virus-driven genomic entropy via the conserved molecular mechanisms linked to supercoiled DNA.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2015
Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling
@jk
lets examine your link:
it in NO WAY proves that human pheromones exist, or even validated your claims regarding human pheromones existing

what part about the following statement did you not understand?
As humans are mammals, it is possible, perhaps even probable, that we have pheromones. However, there is no robust bioassay-led evidence for the widely published claims that four steroid molecules are human pheromones...
In the absence of sound reasons to test the molecules, positive results in studies need to be treated with scepticism as these are highly likely to be false positives.
http://rspb.royal...full.pdf

you can't produce strong evidence that your human pheromones even exist!

this is why you are considered a pseudoscience crackpot

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