Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

British butterfly is evolving to respond to climate change

Date:
November 30, 2011
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
As global temperatures rise and climatic zones move polewards, species will need to find different environments to prevent extinction. New research has revealed that climate change is causing certain species to move and adapt to a range of new habitats.

Brown Argus butterfly.
Credit: © Yuri Kravchenko / Fotolia

As global temperatures rise and climatic zones move polewards, species will need to find different environments to prevent extinction. New research, recently published in the journal Molecular Ecology, has revealed that climate change is causing certain species to move and adapt to a range of new habitats.

The study, led by academics at the Universities of Bristol and Sheffield, aimed to understand the role of evolution in helping a species to successfully track ongoing climate change.

With climate warming many species are moving further north in the UK, however, this may mean crossing a landscape with increasingly less of their preferred habitat. Evolutionary change in the ability to use geographically widespread habitats or increased ability to move longer distances can help species to track the warming climate and move northwards.

The Brown Argus butterfly is successfully expanding its distribution northwards in the UK and uses a range of distinct habitats. Using genetic techniques to detect evolutionary change, the researchers were able to show that the colonisation of new sites further north by the Brown Argus has involved significant adaptation during or following colonisation.

Furthermore, the results suggest that populations of the Brown Argus are adapted to different habitats and that pre-existing variation in habitat preference between populations has been important in allowing the colonisation of new habitats.

James Buckley, one of the researchers from the University's School of Biological Sciences, said: "To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to identify genetic evidence for evolutionary change associated with range shifts driven by recent climate change."

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)-funded study found that evolutionary change is likely to affect the success of species' responses to climate change and that maximising genetic variation in ecological traits (such as habitat preference) across species' distributions should help species to move northwards and track the changing climate across a fragmented landscape.

James added: "These findings are important as understanding the likelihood and speed of such adaptive change is important in determining the rate of species extinction with ongoing climate change."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James Buckley, Roger K. Butlin, Jon R. Bridle. Evidence for evolutionary change associated with the recent range expansion of the British butterfly, Aricia agestis, in response to climate change. Molecular Ecology, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05388.x

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "British butterfly is evolving to respond to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130095301.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2011, November 30). British butterfly is evolving to respond to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130095301.htm
University of Bristol. "British butterfly is evolving to respond to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130095301.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins