No place like home: Species are on the move, but many have nowhere to go

ScienceDaily | 10/21/2019 | Staff
Since the 1970s, insects in the warmer half of Britain have been flying, hopping and crawling northwards at an average rate of around five metres per day. Landscapes that were once too cold for them have been warming up, allowing many species to expand their ranges.

However, the new study, led by researchers at the University of York, suggests that expansion rates have been limited by insufficient habitat in the areas that are becoming climatically suitable.

Study - Sightings - Species - Variation - Rates

The study analysed 25 million recorded sightings of 300 different insect species and found there is huge variation in the rates at which they are moving and that not all species are able to keep pace with the warming conditions.

Scientists and conservationists have always assumed that species' responses to climate change would be limited by habitat, but this is the first study to measure and quantify the effect across a large and diverse set of species.

Author - Study - Dr - Phil - Platts

Lead author of the study, Dr Phil Platts from the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, said: "To become established somewhere new, animals need the right kinds of vegetation, to provide shelter, food and places to breed.

For many of Britain's insects, the specific resources they need are not abundant enough in the right places to take full advantage of the new climatic conditions."

Authors - Study - Diversity - Responses - Animal

The authors of the study found a diversity of responses within each of the different animal groups they looked at. For example:

Roesel's bush-cricket has tracked the climate north and west using a variety of habitats, including road verges, which when left uncut provide corridors for expansion. Meanwhile its more specialised cousin, the Bog Bush Cricket, has struggled to expand its range.

Dragonflies - Emperor - Migrant - Hawker - Northwards

Among dragonflies, the Emperor and Migrant Hawker have sped northwards at between 17 and 28 metres per day, while the Scarce Chaser is penned in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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