Next Article in Journal
Chromosome Level Genome Assembly and Comparative Genomics between Three Falcon Species Reveals an Unusual Pattern of Genome Organisation
Previous Article in Journal
DNA Barcoding and Taxonomic Challenges in Describing New Putative Species: Examples from Sootywing and Cloudywing Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae)
Previous Article in Special Issue
Water Availability Coincides with Population Declines for an Endangered Butterfly
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Diversity 2018, 10(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040112

Distribution of Cranberry Blue Butterflies (Agriades optilete) and Their Responses to Forest Disturbance from In Situ Oil Sands and Wildfires

Department of Renewable Resources, Faculty of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Butterfly Conservation)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2524 KB, uploaded 24 October 2018]   |  

Abstract

Cranberry blues (Agriades optilete) are butterflies of conservation interest worldwide. Less than 20 populations are known in Alberta, Canada, mostly inhabiting boreal forests that are increasingly fragmented by oil sands developments and subject to wildfires. We modeled the abundance of cranberry blues in the boreal forests of Alberta’s Wood Buffalo Region as a function of forest characteristics, presence of disturbances associated with in situ oil sands exploration, and wildfire disturbance, while accounting for butterfly detectability as a function of sampling conditions. We counted 188 cranberry blues during 1280 samples, discovering 14 unknown populations using a species distribution model based on forest wetness and canopy height. Probability of detection peaked around 5th July, and at higher temperatures and in the absence of wind, with cranberry blues preferring wetter treed peatland forests with low canopy heights. Seismic lines were positively related to the abundance of cranberry blues (400% increase), while exploratory well pads and wildfires were negatively related (60% and 90% loss, respectively). Overall, cranberry blue populations are small and locally sensitive to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Despite a narrow habitat specificity, cranberry blues seem more widely distributed than previously thought in northern Alberta (57% of the study area deemed suitable). View Full-Text
Keywords: habitat fragmentation; boreal forest; detection probability; Bayesian hierarchical model; lycaenidae; corridor; seismic lines; N-mixture model habitat fragmentation; boreal forest; detection probability; Bayesian hierarchical model; lycaenidae; corridor; seismic lines; N-mixture model
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Riva, F.; Acorn, J.H.; Nielsen, S.E. Distribution of Cranberry Blue Butterflies (Agriades optilete) and Their Responses to Forest Disturbance from In Situ Oil Sands and Wildfires. Diversity 2018, 10, 112.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Diversity EISSN 1424-2818 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top