Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 12, Issue 3–4, pp 237–249

Island size is not the only consideration. Ranking priorities for the conservation of butterflies on Italian offshore islands

Original Paper

Abstract

Ecological and historical factors virtually create a unique faunal assemblage on each island. From this perspective every island deserves protection. However, economic limitations usually restrict conservation efforts to particularly important areas. As part of the SLOSS issue (the relative importance of single large or several small areas), there is the long debated question of whether it is better to protect few large areas (islands) or several small areas (islands). Here, we assess the butterfly faunas of the Italian offshore islands, using several biodiversity measures, in order to highlight priorities for conserving butterfly richness, rarity and endemicity. First, the nested pattern of butterfly fauna was investigated to determine the relative importance of large and small islands. Then, residuals were assessed for the species-area relationship and for multiple regressions of richness, rarity and endemicity against geographic variables. Subsequently, two other indices were calculated: Biodiversity Conservation Concern and an index scoring islands in the order that maximizes the cumulative percentage of total, endemic, and rare species. The results clearly indicate that although greatest concern is for the island having the largest butterfly fauna in the sample (Elba), the importance of several small islands should not be ignored. This is primarily due to the substantial impact of source areas and consequently the occurrence of several rare and endemic species occurring on small islands as well as on large islands.

Keywords

Butterflies Endemicity Italian islands Nestedness Rarity SLOSS question Species area relationship 

References

  1. Balletto E, Monelli S, Cassulo L (2005) Checklist e distribuzione della fauna italiana. 10.000 specie terrestri e delle acque interne: Insecta Lepidoptera Papilionoidea (Rhopalocera). Memorie del Museo civico di Storia Naturale di Verona 16:259–263+CD RomGoogle Scholar
  2. Beniston M, Stephenson DB, Christensen OB et al (2007) Future extreme events in European climate: an exploration of regional climate model projections. Clim Change 81(Suppl 1):71–95Google Scholar
  3. Brock CS, Adsersen H (2007) Morphological variation among populations of Lecocarpus (Asteraceae) on the Galapagos Islands. Bot J Linn Soc 154:523–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brualdi RA, Sanderson JG (1999) Nested species subsets, gaps, and discrepancy. Oecologia 119:256–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dapporto L (2008) Geometric morphometrics reveal male genitalia differences in the Lasiommata megera/paramegaera complexes (Lepidoptera Nymphalidae) and the lack of a predicted hybridisation area in the Tuscan archipelago. J Zool Syst Evol Res, in pressGoogle Scholar
  6. Dapporto L, Cini A (2007) Faunal patterns in Tuscan archipelago butterflies: the dominant influence is recent geography not paleogeography. Eur J Entomol 104:497–503Google Scholar
  7. Dapporto L, Dennis RLH (2008) Species’ richness, rarity and endemicity of Italian offshore islands: complementary signals from island-focused and species-focused analyses. J Biogeogr published online: doi:10.1111/j.1365.2699.2007.01812x
  8. Dapporto L, Wolf H, Strumia F (2007) Recent geography determines the distribution of some flying Hymenoptera in the Tuscan Archipelago. J Zool 242:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Debussche M, Lepart J, Dervieux A (1999) Mediterranean landscape changes: evidence from old postcards. Global Ecol Biogeogr 8:3–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dennis RLH, Shreeve TG (1996) Butterflies on British and Irish offshore islands: ecology and biogeography. Gem Publishing Company, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  11. Dennis RLH, Shreeve TG (1997) Diversity of butterfly species on British islands: ecological influences underlying the roles of area, isolation and faunal source. Biol J Linn Soc 60:257–275Google Scholar
  12. Dennis RLH, Williams WR (1995) Implications of biogeographical structures for the conservation of European butterflies. In: Pullin AS (ed) Ecology and conservation of butterflies. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 213–229Google Scholar
  13. Dennis RLH, Williams WR, Shreeve TG (1991) A multivariate approach to the determination of faunal units among European butterfly species (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea). Zool J Linn Soc 101:1–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dennis RLH, Shreeve TG, Olivier A, Coutsis JG (2000) Contemporary geography dominates butterfly diversity gradients within the Aegean archipelago (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea). J Biogeogr 27:1365–1384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fattorini S (2006) A new method to identify important conservation areas applied to the butterflies of the Aegean islands (Greece). Anim Conserv 9:75–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fattorini S (2007) To fit or not to fit? A poorly fitting procedure produces inconsistent results when the species-area relationship is used to locate hotspots. Biodivers Conserv 16:2531–2538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fischer J, Lindenmayer DB (2005) Perfectly nested or significantly nested – an important difference for conservation management. Oikos 109:485–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Heaney LR (2007) Is a new paradigm emerging for oceanic island biogeography? J Biogeogr 34:753–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huntley B (1988) Europe. In: Huntley B, Webb T (eds) Vegetation history. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 341–383Google Scholar
  20. Lomolino MV (1994) An evaluation of alternative strategies for building networks of nature reserves. Biol Conserv 69:243–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lomolino MV (2000) A species-based theory of insular zoogeography. Global Ecol Biogeogr 9:39–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of island biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  23. Mittermeier RA, Myers N, Gil PR et al (1999) Hotspots: earth’s biologically richest and most endangered terrestrial ecoregions. CEMEX, Conservation International and Agrupacion Sierra Madre, MexicoGoogle Scholar
  24. Nee S, Colegrave N, West SA et al (2005) The illusion of invariant quantities in life histories. Science 309:1236–1239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. New TR (2007) Understanding the requirements of the insects we seek to conserve. J Insect Conserv 11:95–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Patterson BD, Atmar W (1986) Nested subsets and the structure of insular mammalian faunas and archipelagos. In: Heaney LR, Patterson BD (eds) Island biogeography of mammals. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Penuelas J, Filella I, Comas P (2002) Changed plant and animal life cycles from 1952 to 2000 in the Mediterranean region. Glob Change Biol 8:531–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pimm SL, Lawton JH (1998) Planning for biodiversity. Science 279:2068–2069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rosenzweig ML (2004) Applying species-area relationships to the conservation of species diversity. In: Lomolino MV, Heaney LR (eds) Frontiers of biogeography, new directions in the geography of nature. Sinauer Associates, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
  30. Ryan PG, Bloomer P, Moloney CL et al (2007) Ecological speciation in South Atlantic island finches. Science 315:1420–1423Google Scholar
  31. Samways M, Ponel P, Andrieu-Ponel V (2006) Palaeobiodiversity emphasizes the importance of conserving landscape heterogeneity and connectivity. J Insect Conserv 10:215–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schmitt T (2007) Molecular biogeography of Europe: Pleistocene cycles and Postglacial trends. Front Zool 4:11PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sforzi A, Bartolozzi L (2001) Libro Rosso degli insetti della Toscana. ARSIA Regione Toscana, FirenzeGoogle Scholar
  34. Simberloff D (1974) Equilibrium theory of island biogeography and ecology. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 5:161–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Swengel AB, Swengel SR (2007) Benefit of permanent non-fire refugia for Lepidoptera conservation in fire-managed sites. J Insect Conserv 11:263–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Thomas JA (2005) Monitoring change in the abundance and distribution of insects using butterflies and other indicator groups. Phil Trans R Soc B 360:339–357PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ulrich W, Buszko J (2005) Detecting biodiversity hotspots using species-area and endemics-area relationships: the case of butterflies. Biodivers Conserv 14:1977–1988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ulrich W (2006) Nestedness – a FORTRAN program for calculating ecological matrix temperatures. www.uni.torun.pl/∼ulrichw Google Scholar
  39. Ulrich W, Gotelli NJ (2007) Null model analysis of species nestedness patterns. Ecology 88:1824–1831PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. van Swaay CAM, Warren MS (1999) Red data book of European butterflies (Rhopalocera), nature and environment. Council of European Publishing, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  41. Volpe G, Palmieri R (2006) Le farfalle diurn dell’Isola di Vivara. Associazione Naturalistica Arion, NapoliGoogle Scholar
  42. Whittaker RJ (1998) Island biogeography: ecology, evolution, and conservation. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  43. Williamson MH (1981) Island populations. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  44. Wilson EO, Willis EO (1975) Applied biogeography. In: Cody ML, Diamond JM (eds) Ecology and evolution of communities. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Comprensivo Materna Elementere Media Convenevole da PratoPratoItaly
  2. 2.NERC Centre for Ecology and HydrologyHuntingdonUK
  3. 3.Institute for Environment, Sustainability and RegenerationStaffordshire UniversityStoke on TrentUK

Personalised recommendations