Local versus landscape determinants of butterfly movement.
Kuefler, Daniel*,1, Haddad, Nick1, 1 North Carolina State University, Raleigh
ABSTRACT- A thorough understanding of the mechanisms driving larger scale consequences of movement first requires an understanding of whether movement behaviors are related to local or landscape scale determinants. I studied the movement behaviors of four species of bottomland-dwelling butterflies in a natural setting to examine the determinants of movement behavior across different scales. Across spatial scales, I tested the relative importance and predictive value of three landscape attributes: topography, boundary contrast, and stream proximity, and three local habitat attributes: grass cover, cane cover, and comprehensive vegetative structure. Across species, I tested the relative importance of organism size and habitat specificity to explain response variation. In general, butterfly responses to landscape features were stronger and more universal while responses to local features were weaker and more variable by species. Specifically, results from this study showed that topography does not influence movement behaviors but boundary contrast, stream proximity, and host plant abundance all contributed to stream-wise movement patterns. Orientation to these features was not related to organism size, but did vary in accordance with habitat specificity.
Key words: butterfly, movement, spatial scale, habitat heterogeneity
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