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Changes in Flight Period Predict Trends in Abundance of Massachusetts Butterflies
  • James Michielini,
  • Erik Dopman,
  • Elizabeth Crone
James Michielini
Tufts University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Erik Dopman
Tufts University
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Elizabeth Crone
Tufts University
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Phenological shifts are well-documented in the ecological literature. However, their significance for changes in demography and abundance is less clear. We used 27 years of citizen science monitoring to quantify trends in phenology and relative abundance across 89 butterfly species. We calculated shifts in phenology using quantile regression and shifts in relative abundance using list length analysis and counts from club trips. Elongated activity periods within a year were the strongest predictor of increases in relative abundance. These changes may be driven in part by changes in voltinism, as this association was stronger in multivoltine species. Some species appear to be adding a late-season generation while other species appear to be adding a spring generation, revealing a possible shift from vagrant to resident. Our results emphasize the importance of evaluating phenological changes throughout species' activity periods and understanding the consequences for such climate-related changes on viability or population dynamics.
06 Apr 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
04 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
04 May 2020Assigned to Editor
13 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
24 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
27 Aug 20201st Revision Received
28 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
28 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
04 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
25 Sep 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Oct 2020Editorial Decision: Accept
Feb 2021Published in Ecology Letters volume 24 issue 2 on pages 249-257. 10.1111/ele.13637