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.

Related Articles


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 November 21, 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 November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Buzz60 (Nov. 20, 2014) Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer teamed up with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and others to investigate a predatory glow worm found in the Amazon. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Huge Snow Covers Buffalo Streets

Raw: Huge Snow Covers Buffalo Streets

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) A new blast of lake-effect snow roared through western New York with thunder and lightning on Thursday, raising to nearly 6 feet the three-day total in parts of the Buffalo area. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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