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Kebaïli, C., S. Sherpa, M. Guéguen, J. Renaud, D. Rioux, and L. Després. 2023. Comparative genetic and demographic responses to climate change in three peatland butterflies in the Jura massif. Biological Conservation 287: 110332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2023.110332

Climate is a main driver of species distributions, but all species are not equally affected by climate change, and their differential responses to similar climatic constraints might dramatically affect the local species composition. In the context of climate warming, a better knowledge of the ability of dispersal-limited and habitat-specialist species to track climate change at local scale is urgently needed. Comparing the population genetic and demographic impacts of past climate cycles in multiple co-distributed species with similar ecological requirements help predicting the community-scale response to climate warming, but such comparative studies remain rare. Here, we studied the relationship between demographic history and past changes in spatial distribution of three protected peatland butterfly species (Boloria aquilonaris, Coenonympha tullia, Lycaena helle) in the Jura massif (France), using a genomic approach (ddRAD sequencing) and species distribution modeling (SDM). We found a similar and narrow thermal niche among species, and shared demographic histories of post-glacial decline and recent fragmentation of populations. Each species functions as a single metapopulation at the regional scale, with a North-South gradient of decreasing genetic diversity that fits the local dynamics of the ice cover over time. However, we found no correlation between changes in the quantity or the quality of suitable areas and changes in effective population size over time. This suggests that species ranges moved beyond the Jura massif during the less favorable climatic periods, and/or that habitat loss and deterioration are major drivers of the current dramatic decline observed in the three species. Our findings allow better understanding how history events and contemporary dynamics shape local biodiversity, providing valuable knowledge to identify appropriate conservation strategies.

Kolanowska, M., S. Nowak, and A. Rewicz. 2022. Will Greenland be the last refuge for the continental European small-white orchid?Niche modeling of future distribution of Pseudorchis albida. Frontiers in Environmental Science 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2022.912428

Climate change affects populations of plants, animals, and fungi not only by direct modifications of their climatic niches but also by altering their ecological interactions. In this study, the future distribution of suitable habitats for the small-white orchid (Pseudorchis albida) was predicted using ecological niche modeling. In addition, the effect of global warming on the spatial distribution and availability of the pollen vectors of this species was evaluated. Due to the inconsistency in the taxonomic concepts of Pseudorchis albida, the differences in the climatic preferences of three proposed subspecies were investigated. Due to the overlap of both morphological and ecological characters of ssp. albida and ssp. tricuspis, they are considered to be synonyms, and the final analyses were carried out using ssp. albida s.l. and ssp. straminea. All of the models predict that with global warming, the number of suitable niches for these orchids will increase. This significant increase in preferred habitats is expected to occur in Greenland, but habitat loss in continental Europe will be severe. Within continental Europe, Pseudorchis albida ssp. albida will lose 44%–98% of its suitable niches and P. albida ssp. straminea will lose 46%–91% of its currently available habitats. An opposite effect of global warming was predicted for pollinators of P. albida s.l., and almost all insects studied will be subject to habitat loss. Still, within the predicted potential geographical ranges of the orchid studied, some pollen vectors are expected to occur, and these can support the long-term survival of the small-white orchid.

Gil‐Tapetado, D., C. D. Soria, J. F. Gómez, J. M. Sesma, and F. J. Cabrero‐Sañudo. 2022. Aridity could have driven the local extinction of a common and multivoltine butterfly. Ecological Entomology. https://doi.org/10.1111/een.13200

Identifying which species are being negatively impacted by climate change and the mechanisms driving their decline is essential to effectively protect biodiversity.Coenonympha pamphilus is a common and generalist butterfly, widely distributed throughout the Western Palearctic, being multivoltine in southern Europe. Previous studies indicate that it will not be substantially affected by climate change; however, it has seemingly disappeared from the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula in the last decades.Here, we aim to determine if it has effectively disappeared from this area, as well as identify the environmental conditions limiting its distribution and the potential causes behind this a priori local extinction.We downloaded all the occurrence records of C. pamphilus and analysed their spatial and temporal trends. To identify the climatic variables driving the distribution of this butterfly in the Iberian Peninsula, we performed an ensemble species distribution model (SDM), combining 600 individual models produced with 6 algorithms.We confirmed that C. pamphilus has not been observed in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula since 2008. Aridity was the main factor limiting the distribution of C. pamphilus in our ensemble SDM, with areas with high aridity being unsuitable for this species.We hypothesise that multivoltinism is the mechanism driving this local extirpation, as high aridity is causing host plants (Poaceae) to wither prematurely, precluding the development of the second and/or third generations of the butterfly. Even though generalist species are theoretically more resilient to climate change, other traits such as multivoltinism may increase their vulnerability and need to be further investigated.

Kolanowska, M., A. Rewicz, and S. Nowak. 2021. Data on the present and future distribution of suitable niches of the black vanilla orchid (Nigritella nigra s.l., Orchidaceae) and its pollinators. Data in Brief 37: 107187. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2021.107187

The black vanilla orchid (Nigritella nigra s.l.) is a perennial plant found in the main European mountain ranges. It occurs in large numbers in the Alps, but it has become a rare and endangered species in Scandinavia due to the loss of suitable habitats. Here we present occurrence data on the occurr…

Maresova, J., A. Suchackova Bartonova, M. Konvicka, T. T. Høye, O. Gilg, J. Kresse, N. A. Shapoval, et al. 2020. The story of endurance: Biogeography and the evolutionary history of four Holarctic butterflies with different habitat requirements. Journal of Biogeography 48: 590–602. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14022

Aim: Biogeographical studies on the entire ranges of widely distributed species can change our perception of species’ range dynamics. We studied the effects of Pleistocene glacial cycles on current butterfly species distributions, aiming to uncover complex biogeographic patterns in the Holarctic, a …