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Climatic Change

, Volume 109, Issue 3–4, pp 319–329 | Cite as

Rapid spread of the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi across Europe: a consequence of climate change?

  • Sabrina Kumschick
  • Stefan Fronzek
  • Martin H. Entling
  • Wolfgang Nentwig
Article

Abstract

Numerous species are expanding their ranges towards the North Pole, a pattern that is usually explained with climate change. However, few studies have actually tested the potential role of climate in such range expansions. Here, we studied the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi, which has multiplied its range in Central and Northern Europe during the 20th century and is still spreading. Using current and historical climate data, we analysed whether this spread can be explained by climate warming, increasing cold tolerance or if it is unrelated to temperature. Spatial partial regression showed that the spread of A. bruennichi into formerly cooler areas is independent of spatial autocorrelation, indicating that it is driven by temperature. Some aspects of the spread, as e.g. the patchy distribution at the beginning of the century are likely to be relicts of climate fluctuations before our study period. From the middle of the 20th century until the 1980s, A. bruennichi was recorded from gradually cooler climates, while temperature was relatively constant. This indicates that A. bruennichi either increased its cold tolerance or that the spread continued with a time lag following an earlier warming event, due to dispersal limitation. In the last two decades, temperature rose sharply. The temperatures at which A. bruennichi was newly recorded increased as well, indicating that the spider is dispersal limited and that the spread will continue even in the absence of further climate warming.

Keywords

Grid Cell Spatial Autocorrelation Climate Warming Cold Tolerance Climate Research Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Nikolaj Scharff and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on the manuscript. Many thanks to ARABEL, ARAGES, CSCF, Aloysius Staudt, Christian Komposch, Christo Deltshev, Csaba Szinetár, David Roy, Frederick Hendrickx, Holger Frick, Ioan Duma, Katarzyna Zieba, Koen van Keer, Lars Jonsson, Maria Chatzaki, Marija Biteniekyte, Niclas Fritzén, Nikolaj Scharff, Nina Polchaninova, Peter van Helsdingen, Piet Tutelaer, Robert Bosmans, Róbert Gallé, Seppo Koponen, Voldemars Spungis, Walter Egger, Wojciech Solarz, Zuzana Krumpalova for providing valuable literature and data. Special thanks to Christian Kropf for his help in searching literature. We acknowledge financial support from the EC through the FP 6 Integrated Project ALARM (Assessing LArge scale environmental Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods; GOCE-CT-2003-506675; www.alarmproject.net; Settele et al. 2005).

Supplementary material

10584_2011_139_MOESM1_ESM.doc (520 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 519 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina Kumschick
    • 1
  • Stefan Fronzek
    • 2
  • Martin H. Entling
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Nentwig
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Community EcologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Finnish Environment Institute, Research Programme for Global ChangeHelsinkiFinland

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