Combined effects of climate change, extreme events and habitat fragmentation to diurnal butterflies and trophic interactions


From 02/2009

Principal Investigator: Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
Staff: Annette Leingärtner, Bernhard Hoiß, Jochen Krauss

The long-term survival of animal populations under terms of global change is strongly dependent on interactions, particularly on trophic interactions and food webs. On this similarly little is known as about the impact of changes in genetic diversity on the adaptability of animal populations to modified environmental conditions. Furthermore there are no investigations in Bavaria which examine the temporal variances of biodiversity and genetic diversity in context of global change. The purpose of this sub-project is to close these serious gaps in the current state of knowledge and so to contribute to the long-term preservation of biodiversity and to the development of adaptation strategies to climate change. Differently fragmented grassland habitats along a climate gradient in the Bavarian Alps serve as study sites of the central experimental approach. Combined effects of climate change, habitat fragmentation and extreme events on the group of diurnal butterflies, which are important pollinators, will be analysed. In this context we will analyse the risk of extinction for diurnal butterflies, the impact to trophic plant-herbivor-antagonist-interactions and population dynamics of endangered diurnal butterfly species, the adaptability of animal populations with different genetic diversity, as well as the temporal variances in biodiversity, dispersal and genetic diversity of diurnal butterfly populations. Based on these results adaptation strategies and protection concepts are to be developed to cushion the expected negative impact of global warming in the Bavarian Alps.

last modified 2011-11-09