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A hydrogen isoscape for tracing the migration of terrestrial herbivorous insects across the Afro-Palearctic range
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  • Sana Ghouri,
  • Megan S. Reich,
  • Roger Lopez-Mañas,
  • Gerard Talavera,
  • Gabriel Bowen,
  • Roger Vila,
  • Valery N. K. Talla,
  • Steve C. Collins,
  • Dino J. Martins,
  • Clement Bataille
Sana Ghouri
University of Ottawa Department of Biology
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Megan S. Reich
University of Ottawa Department of Biology
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Roger Lopez-Mañas
Institut Botanic de Barcelona
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Gerard Talavera
Institut Botanic de Barcelona
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Gabriel Bowen
The University of Utah Department of Geology and Geophysics
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Roger Vila
Institut de Biologia Evolutiva
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Valery N. K. Talla
Universite de Dschang
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Steve C. Collins
Kenya Gatsby Charitable Trust Nairobi
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Dino J. Martins
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization Sugar Research Institute
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Clement Bataille
University of Ottawa Department of Earth Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Rationale: Many insect species undertake multi-generational migrations in the Afro-tropical and Palearctic ranges, and understanding their migratory connectivity remains challenging due to their small size, short life span and large population sizes. Hydrogen isotope ( δ 2H) can be used to reconstruct the movement of dispersing or migrating insects, but applying δ 2H for provenance requires a robust isotope baseline map (i.e., isoscape) for the Afro-Palearctic. Methods: We analysed the δ 2H in the wings ( δ 2H wing) of 142 resident butterflies from 56 sites across the Afro-Palearctic. The δ 2H wing values were compared to the predicted local growing-season precipitation δ 2H values ( δ 2H GSP) using a linear regression model to develop an insect wing δ 2H isoscape. We used multivariate linear mixed models and high-resolution and time-specific remote sensing climate and environmental data to explore the controls of the residual δ 2H wing variability. Results: A strong linear relationship was found between δ 2H wing and δ 2H GSP values (r 2=0.53). The resulting isoscape showed strong patterns across the Palearctic but limited variation and high uncertainty for the Afro-tropics. Positive residuals of this relationship were correlated with dry conditions for the month preceding sampling whereas negative residuals were correlated with more wet days for the month preceding sampling. High intra-site δ 2H wing variance was associated with lower relative humidity for the month preceding sampling and higher elevation. Conclusion: The δ 2H wing isoscape is applicable to trace butterflies, moths and other terrestrial herbivorous insects that migrate across the Afro-Palearctic range but has limited geolocation potential in the Afro-tropics. The spatial analysis of uncertainty using high-resolution climatic data demonstrated that many African regions with highly variable evaporation rates and relative humidity have δ 2H wing values that are less related to δ 2H GSP values. Increasing geolocation precision will require new modeling approaches using more time-specific environmental data and/or independent geolocation tools.
10 Jul 2023Submitted to Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
10 Jul 2023Submission Checks Completed
10 Jul 2023Assigned to Editor
10 Jul 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 Jul 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
28 Jul 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
14 Aug 20231st Revision Received
14 Aug 2023Assigned to Editor
14 Aug 2023Submission Checks Completed
14 Aug 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Aug 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
30 Aug 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
06 Sep 20232nd Revision Received
06 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
06 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
06 Sep 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
08 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
03 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Accept