Increasing abundance and diversity in the moth assemblage of east Loch Lomondside, Scotland over a 35 year period
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Macro-moths caught in a Rothamsted trap, operating from 1968 to 2003 as part of the Rothamsted Insect Survey, were used to investigate the long-term population trends of moth populations on East Loch Lomondside. In total 367 species of macro moth were recorded during this study. Over the 35 years of this study, an increase was recorded in both the overall number of individuals and moth diversity. Mean annual temperature significantly predicted the change in moth diversity but not number of individuals caught. Four of the most consistently abundant species, collectively constituting 27% of the average annual catch, were subjected to more detailed analysis. The three species that emerge during the summer months Eulithis populata (the northern spinach), Hydriomena furcata (july highflier) and Idaea biselata (the small fan-footed wave) became more abundant throughout the study period, (although for the latter species not significantly so). For Eulithis populata and Idaea biselata their emergence time became earlier, over the study period and in Eulithis populata and Hydriomena furcata, the flight duration also became longer. In contrast, the species that emerges as an adult during autumn and winter, Epirrita dilutata (the november moth) did not exhibit a significant change in abundance, emergence date or flight duration in this study. The results suggest that climate change is at least in part, responsible for the observed changes in species dynamics.
KeywordsDynamics Habitat stability Global warming
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