Motorway as a barrier to dispersal of the threatened dragonfly Sympetrum depressiusculum (Odonata: Libellulidae): Consequence of mortality or crossing avoidance?

October 2017
European Journal of Entomology;10/5/2017, Vol. 114, p391
Academic Journal
Infrastructure is one of the main causes of landscape fragmentation, which results in isolation and loss of populations. Although the negative effect of roads on insects is well documented, only a minority of studies has focused on roads in the context of barriers to dispersal. Flying species in particular have been neglected. We investigated the effect of a four-lane motorway as a barrier to the movement of an isolated population of the threatened dragonfly Sympetrum depressiusculum in an agricultural landscape in Central Europe. Generalized additive models were used to assess the motorway's effect on (i) the distribution of adult dragonflies in patches of terrestrial habitat surrounding their natal site, and (ii) individual flight behaviour (i.e. willingness or unwillingness to cross the motorway). Movement patterns of marked adults throughout the landscape were also investigated. During one season, significantly fewer adults were found at patches located on the far side of the motorway, indicating it has a barrier effect. Observations on flight behaviour revealed no apparent effect of the motorway. The possible barrier effect for the species studied was therefore presumed to be a consequence of road mortality. Our results indicate that the motorway may influence the dispersal of this threatened species of dragonfly, which is a habitat specialist with particular requirements for its terrestrial environment. Negative effects on other species with similar behaviour and strategy can be presumed. When establishing new habitats, carrying out reintroductions or translocations, it is necessary to consider that roadways may reduce population size and affect population dynamics by limiting dispersal.


Related Articles

  • Characteristics of insect populations on habitat fragments: A mini review. Tscharntke, Teja; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kruess, Andreas; Thies, Carsten // Ecological Research;Mar2002, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p229 

    Modern human-dominated landscapes are typically characterized by intensive land-use and high levels of habitat destruction, often resulting in sharply contrasted habitat mosaics. Fragmentation of remaining habitat is a major threat to biodiversity. In the present paper, we focus on the different...

  • Winged morph of the high arctic aphid Acyrthosiphon svalbardicum (Hemiptera: Aphididae): abundance, reproductive status, and ecological significance. Simon, J.-C.; Bonhomme, J.; Blackman, R. L.; Hullé, M. // Canadian Entomologist;May/Jun2008, Vol. 140 Issue 3, p385 

    The aphid Acyrthosiphon svalhardicum Heikinheimo, which is endemic to Svalbard and feeds exclusively on eightpetal mountain-avens, Dryas ocropetala L. (Rosaceae), has developed a series of adaptive traits to cope with the harsh conditions of the High Arctic. Prior to this study, only a single...

  • Evidence for positive density-dependent emigration in butterfly metapopulations. Nowicki, Piotr; Vrabec, Vladimir // Oecologia;Nov2011, Vol. 167 Issue 3, p657 

    A positive effect of (meta)population density on emigration has been predicted by many theoretical models and confirmed empirically in various organisms. However, in butterflies, the most popular species for dispersal studies, the evidence for its existence has so far been equivocal, with...

  • Monitoring spatiotemporal variation in abundance and dispersal by a pheromone-kairomone system in the threatened saproxylic beetles Osmoderma eremita and Elater ferrugineus. Larsson, Mattias; Svensson, Glenn // Journal of Insect Conservation;Dec2011, Vol. 15 Issue 6, p891 

    Pheromone monitoring could provide unique spatial and temporal information about rare and threatened insect species for conservation purposes. Pheromone traps may be especially valuable in detecting fluctuations and declines in vulnerable species, if trap catch can be related to population...

  • Big maggots dig deeper: size-dependent larval dispersal in flies. Davis, Jeremy; Coogan, Laura; Papaj, Daniel // Oecologia;Sep2015, Vol. 179 Issue 1, p55 

    The ability of individual animals to select habitats optimal for development and survival can be constrained by the costs of moving through the environment. Animals that seek overwintering sites underground, for example, may be constrained by the energy required to burrow into the soil. We...

  • Population genetic structure and genetic diversity of the threatened White Mountain arctic butterfly ( Oeneis melissa semidea). Gradish, A.; Keyghobadi, N.; Otis, G. // Conservation Genetics;Oct2015, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p1253 

    The White Mountain arctic butterfly [WMA; Oeneis melissa semidea (Say)] is endemic to the alpine zone of Mts. Washington and Jefferson, New Hampshire, USA, and because of its small and declining population size, it is considered threatened. White Mountain arctic adults occur only within four...

  • Campers Displaced by Caterpillars.  // Parks & Recreation;Aug2007, Vol. 42 Issue 8, p24 

    This article reports that the Rocky Arbor State Park near Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin had to close in mid-June 2007 as a result of an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars. Hot, dry conditions fueled the numbers of caterpillars which numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The park was closed to...

  • Genetic diversity of melon aphids Aphis gossypii associated with landscape features. Dong, Zhaoke; Li, Yifan; Zhang, Zhiyong // Ecology & Evolution (20457758);Jun2018, Vol. 8 Issue 12, p6308 

    Abstract: Despite increasing evidence that landscape features strongly influence the abundance and dispersal of insect populations, landscape composition has seldom been explicitly linked to genetic structure. We conducted a genetic study of the melon aphid, Aphis gossypii, in two counties of...

  • Population structure and speciation in the dragonfly Sympetrum striolatum/nigrescens (Odonata: Libellulidae): An analysis using AFLP markers. PARKES, KATHARINE A.; AMOS, WILLIAM; MOORE, NORMAN W.; HOFFMAN, JOSEPH I.; MOORE, JANET // European Journal of Entomology;2009, Vol. 106 Issue 2, p179 

    There has been a long-standing debate as to whether Sympetrum striolatum (Charpentier, 1840) and the darker northern form, S. nigrescens (Lucas, 1912) should be recognised as separate species of dragonfly. Here we address this question using genetic analysis based on AFLP markers and samples...

  • Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Signature of Adaptation to Landscape Fragmentation. Somervuo, Panu; Kvist, Jouni; Ikonen, Suvi; Auvinen, Petri; Paulin, Lars; Koskinen, Patrik; Holm, Liisa; Taipale, Minna; Duplouy, Anne; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Saarnio, Suvi; Sirén, Jukka; Kohonen, Jukka; Corander, Jukka; Frilander, Mikko J.; Ahola, Virpi; Hanski, Ilkka // PLoS ONE;Jul2014, Vol. 9 Issue 7, p1 

    We characterize allelic and gene expression variation between populations of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) from two fragmented and two continuous landscapes in northern Europe. The populations exhibit significant differences in their life history traits, e.g. butterflies...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics