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Investigating odonates' response to climate change in Great Britain: a tale of two strategies

O'Neill, D. ORCID:, Shaffrey, L. ORCID:, Neumann, J. ORCID:, Cheffings, C., Norris, K. and Pettorelli, N. ORCID: (2024) Investigating odonates' response to climate change in Great Britain: a tale of two strategies. Diversity and Distributions. e13816. ISSN 1472-4642

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ddi.13816


Aim Species are largely thought to maintain broadly static niches over time, an assumption underpinning much theoretical ecology including the implementation of ecological models to project species' current and future distributions. Here, we assess niche conservatism in odonates in Great Britain over the past six decades by simultaneously quantifying changes in species geographic distribution and evaluating temporal trends in species realised climatic niche.LocationGreat Britain. Methods Distributional changes were assessed by calculating changes in species distribution centres and deriving occupancy trends. Changes in climatic niches were assessed using a principal component analysis to quantify niche overlap, using information on both climate averages and extremes. Results We show that dragonflies and damselflies displayed distinct responses to changing climatic conditions. Dragonflies shifting to higher latitudes maintained, on average, greater consistency in their climatic niches, providing evidence for climate tracking. Greater climate niche flexibility and increased occupancy over time, on the other hand, were more common in damselflies. Main Conclusions We unveil evidence for climatic niche divergence in damselflies on a national scale, casting doubt on the relevance of species distribution models for predicting the impacts of climate change on this, and potentially other, groups of species. More broadly, our results call for more multi‐species temporal comparisons of spatial distributions and climate niches during recent periods of changes in climatic conditions to improve our ability to contrast species' vulnerability risk to the ongoing climate crisis.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:115266
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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