Oecologia

, Volume 99, Issue 1–2, pp 194–200 | Cite as

Estimating female reproductive success of a threatened butterfly: influence of emergence time and hostplant phenology

  • J. Hall Cushman
  • Carol L. Boggs
  • Stuart B. Weiss
  • Dennis D. Murphy
  • Alan W. Harvey
  • Paul R. Ehrlich
Original Paper

Abstract

We estimated lifetime reproductive success of Euphydryas editha bayensis (Nymphalidae), a federally listed threatened butterfly, based on age-specific fecundity and both adult and offspring survival. Our results indicate that the relative timing of adult emergence and larval hosplant senescence strongly influenced reproductive success of females. For 1992, we estimated that only 8–21% of the eggs laid by females emerging on the 1st day of the 4-week flight season would produce larvae that reach diapause. This figure dropped to 1–5% for females emerging 7 days into the flight season. Within our entire sample, we estimated that 64–88% of the females produced offspring with less than a 2% probability of reaching diapause. These estimates are particularly striking given that they are based on only one source of larval mortality — prediapause starvation due to hostplant senescence. This dependence of reproductive success on the relative timing of female emergence and hostplant senescence may reduce effective population size and render E. editha bayensis especially vulnerable to local extinction events.

Key words

Adult emergence time Conservation biology Euphydryas editha bayensis Hostplant phenology Lifetime reproductive success 

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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Hall Cushman
    • 1
  • Carol L. Boggs
    • 2
  • Stuart B. Weiss
    • 2
  • Dennis D. Murphy
    • 1
  • Alan W. Harvey
    • 3
  • Paul R. Ehrlich
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesStandord UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Center for Conservation Biology, Department of Biological SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of InvertebratesAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologySonoma State UniversityRohnert ParkUSA

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