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Title (Primary) The importance of resource distribution: spatial co-occurrence of host plants and host ants coincides with increased egg densities of the Dusky Large Blue Maculinea nausithous (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)
Author Kempe, C.; Nowicki, P.; Harpke, A.; Schweiger, O.; Settele, J.;
Journal Journal of Insect Conservation
Year 2016
Department BZF; iDiv;
Volume 20
Issue 6
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T12;
Keywords Lycaenidae; Myrmica; Sanguisorba; Oviposition; Habitat management
UFZ wide themes RU1;
Abstract The occurrence of the Dusky Large Blue Butterfly (Maculinea nausithous) critically depends on the availability of two key resources: the Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) as primary nectar source for adults, for egg laying and early larval development, and the host ant Myrmica rubra as the food of late instar larvae. Thus, their distributions are key parameters shaping habitat suitability, and we expected that overlapping of both resources would have a strong impact on the size of local M. nausithous populations. Their egg density may be affected (a) by the fraction of host plants per site located within My. rubra activity ranges at the patch scale, or (b) by the availability of host plants with host ants in close range at the local scale, due to the potential ability of butterfly females to detect their host ants. To test the above hypothesis, we recorded spatial distribution patterns of host plants and host ants on 29 study sites in south-western Germany and related them to egg density data of M. nausithous. We found a positive relationship between co-occurence of host plant and host ant and M. nausithous egg density at the patch scale, whereas no correlation was found at the local scale. Thus, focal populations are strongly limited by the abundance of host plants, covered with My. rubra activity, as ant-mediated oviposition could not be proved. Our results underline the importance of resource distribution; the understanding of its impacts may provide useful insights into how M. nausithous habitats can be managed in order increase their carrying capacity.
ID 18174
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=18174
Kempe, C., Nowicki, P., Harpke, A., Schweiger, O., Settele, J. (2016):
The importance of resource distribution: spatial co-occurrence of host plants and host ants coincides with increased egg densities of the Dusky Large Blue Maculinea nausithous (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)
J. Insect Conserv. 20 (6), 1033 - 1045