The dual role of rivers in facilitating or hindering movements of the false heath fritillary butterfly
Fabritius, H., Rönkä, K., & Ovaskainen, O. (2015). The dual role of rivers in facilitating or hindering movements of the false heath fritillary butterfly. Movement ecology, 3 (4). doi:10.1186/s40462-015-0031-z
Published inMovement ecology
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologia
© 2015 Fabritius et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Background: Species movement responses to landscape structures have been studied using a variety of methods, but movement research is still in need of simple methods that help predicting and comparing movements across structurally different landscapes. We demonstrate how habitat-specific movement models can be used to disentangle causes of differentiated movement patterns in structurally different landscapes and to predict movement patterns in altered and artificial landscapes. In our case study, we studied the role of riparian landscapes to the persistence of the endangered false heath fritillary butterfly (Melitaea diamina) in its newly discovered coastal distribution region in Finland. We compared the movement parameters of the riparian population to two reference populations by using capture-recapture data and habitat-specific diffusion modelling, and analysed the role of the river and riverbank buffer zones in facilitating or hindering false heath fritillary movement with movement simulations. Results: The riparian population of the false heath fritillary did not show major differences to reference populations in terms of movement parameters within breeding habitat, high-quality matrix and low-quality matrix. However, movement simulations showed that the habitat-specific movement parameters estimated for the false heath fritillary can lead into markedly different movement patterns in structurally different landscapes. An artificial riparian landscape mimicking those of the coastal distribution resulted into more directional, longitudinal movements both parallel and perpendicular to the river than a more mosaic-like landscape, but the existence of the river in the landscape reduced movements across the river. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates how habitat-specific movement models enable comparisons of movement patterns across structurally different real, altered and artificial landscapes. As such, they can be used to compare movement parameters across populations, to study the effects of management interventions to endangered species and to identify areas that have high sensitivity to individual movement. In our case study, the river is shown to perform a dual role for the movements of the riparian false heath fritillary population. Whereas the river acts as a moderate movement barrier for the false heath fritillary, the longitudinal configuration of riverbank habitats provides a means especially for the male false heath fritillaries to move across the landscape. ...