Wiley Open Access
Ecology and Evolution
Throughout the last century, climate change has altered the geographic distributions of many species. Insects, in particular, vary in their ability to track changing climates, and it is likely that phenology is an important determinant of how well insects can either expand or shift their geographic distributions in response to climate change. Grasshoppers are an ideal group to test the hypothesis that phenology correlates with range expansion, given that co-occurring confamilial, and even congeneric, species can differ in phenology. Here, I tested the hypothesis that early- and late-season species should possess different range expansion potentials, as estimated by habitat suitability from ecological niche models. I used nine different modeling techniques to estimate habitat suitability of six grasshopper species of varying phenology under two climate scenarios for the year 2050. My results suggest that, of the six species examined here, early-season species were more sensitive to climate change than late-season species. The three early-season species examined here might shift northward during the spring, while the modeled geographic distributions of the three late-season species were generally constant under climate change, likely because they were pre-adapted to hot and dry conditions. Phenology might therefore be a good predictor of how insect distributions might change in the future, but this hypothesis remains to be tested at a broader scale.
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LeMoine, Nathan P., "Phenology Dictates the Impact of Climate Change on Geographic Distributions of Six co-Occurring North American Grasshoppers" (2021). Biological Sciences Faculty Research and Publications. 864.
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