Ecological correlates of local extinction and colonisation in the British ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Comont, R. F., Roy, H. E., Harrington, R., Shortall, C. R. and Purse, B. V. 2014. Ecological correlates of local extinction and colonisation in the British ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Biological Invasions. 16 (9), pp. 1805-1817.

AuthorsComont, R. F., Roy, H. E., Harrington, R., Shortall, C. R. and Purse, B. V.

Five main drivers of population declines have been identified: climate change, habitat degradation, invasive alien species (IAS), overexploitation and pollution. Each of these drivers interacts with the others, and also with the intrinsic traits of individual species, to determine species’ distribution and range dynamics. We explored the relative importance of life-history and resource-use traits, climate, habitat, and the IAS Harmonia axyridis in driving local extinction and colonisation dynamics across 25 ladybird species (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).Species were classified as continually present, continually absent, extinct, or colonising in each of 4,642 1-km2 grid squares. The spatial distribution of local extinction and colonisation events (in the grid squares) across all species’ ranges were related to ecological traits, overlap with H. axyridis, climate, and habitat factors within generalised linear models (GLMs). GLMs were also used to relate species’ traits, range characteristics, and niche overlap with H. axyridis to extinction and colonisation rates summarised at the species level. Bayesian model averaging was used to account for model uncertainty, and produce reduced sets of models which were well-supported by data. Species with a high degree of niche overlap with H. axyridis suffered higher extinction rates in both analyses, while at the spatial scale extinctions were more likely and colonisations less likely in areas with a high proportion of urban land cover. In the spatial analysis, polymorphic species with large range sizes were more likely to colonise and less likely to go extinct, and sunny grid squares were more likely to be colonised. Large, multivoltine species and rainy grid squares were less likely to colonise or be colonised. In conclusion for ladybirds, extinction and colonisation dynamics are influenced by several factors. The only factor that both increased the local extinction likelihood and reduced colonisation likelihood was urban land cover, while ecological overlap with H. axyridis greatly increased extinction rates. Continued spread of H. axyridis is likely to adversely affect native species and urban areas may be particularly vulnerable.

KeywordsClimate; Coccinellidae; Colonisation; Extinction; Niche overlap; Traits
Year of Publication2014
JournalBiological Invasions
Journal citation16 (9), pp. 1805-1817
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDelivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
The Rothamsted Insect Survey [2012-2017]
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Dec 2013
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Dec 2013
Copyright licensePublisher copyright

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