The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Modelling temperature-dependent larval development and
subsequent demographic Allee effects in adult populations of the alpine butterfly Parnassius smintheus

Wheeler, J. D. and Bampfylde, C. J. and Lewis, M. A. (2012) Modelling temperature-dependent larval development and
subsequent demographic Allee effects in adult populations of the alpine butterfly Parnassius smintheus.
Theoretical Ecology . (Submitted)

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Abstract

Climate change has been attributed as a driver of changes to ecological systems worldwide and understanding the effects of climate change at individual, population, community, and ecosystem levels has become a primary concern of ecology. One avenue toward understanding the impacts of climate change on an ecosystem is through the study of environmentally sensitive species. Butterflies are sensitive to climatic changes due to their reliance on environmental cues such as temperature and photoperiod, which regulate the completion of life history stages. As such, the population dynamics of butterflies may offer insight into the impacts of climate change on the health of an ecosystem. In this paper we study the effects of rearing temperature on the alpine butterfly Parnassius smintheus (Rocky Mountain Apollo), both directly through individual phenological changes and indirectly through adult reproductive success at the population level. Our approach is to formulate a mathematical model of individual development parameterized by experimental data and link larval development to adult reproductive success. A Bernoulli process model describes temperature-dependent larval phenology, and a system of ordinary differential equations is used to study impacts on reproductive success. The phenological model takes field temperature data as its input and predicts a temporal distribution of adult emergence, which in turn controls the dynamics of the reproductive success model. We find that warmer spring and summer temperatures increase reproductive success, while cooler temperatures exacerbate a demographic Allee effect, suggesting that observed yearly fluctuations in P. smintheus population size may be driven by inter-annual temperature variability. Model predictions are validated against mark-recapture field data from 2001 and 2003 − 2009.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:D - G > General
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics
ID Code:1488
Deposited By:Peter Hudston
Deposited On:02 Mar 2012 07:46
Last Modified:02 Mar 2012 07:46

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