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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Drivers of moth phenology in England and Wales
Author(s): Hickinbotham, Emily
Pattison, Zarah
Fox, Richard
Rushton, Steve P
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Keywords: Phenology
Climate change
Life history traits
Linear mixed effects modelling
Issue Date: 13-Apr-2024
Date Deposited: 8-May-2024
Citation: Hickinbotham E, Pattison Z, Fox R & Rushton SP (2024) Drivers of moth phenology in England and Wales. <i>Journal of Insect Conservation</i>.
Abstract: Climate change has led to changes in the phenology of Lepidoptera species. While phenological shifts have been previously measured for moth species in England and Wales, the drivers of these shifts are not well known. Here, we use data from the National Moth Recording Scheme and the Garden Moth Scheme to investigate the drivers of phenology in 149 moth species over a 50 year period from 1970 to 2019. We investigate whether there have been phenological shifts in adult emergence using three phenology metrics: First Emergence (FE), Peak Emergence (PE), and Emergence Standard Deviation (ESD) in relation to life history traits and temperature. Overwintering stage had a significant impact on moth phenology, so we analysed species that spend the winter as eggs, larvae or pupae separately. Overall phenological changes were different depending on overwintering stage category and phenological measure, with the rate of phenological shifts increasing with later overwintering life stages in response to both temperature and year. The overwintering stage larva was the only one impacted by diet, with those that feed on woody hostplants emerging ~ 17 days later than species with herbaceous hostplants. These results indicate that species that either overwinter in earlier life stages or have woody hostplants may be less adaptable to climate change, and thus should be the targets of conservation efforts.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10841-024-00578-z
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
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