Trends and indicators for quantifying moth abundance and occupancy in Scotland

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Dennis, E. B., Brereton, T. M., Morgan, B. J. T., Fox, R., Shortall, C. R., Prescott, T. and Foster, S. 2019. Trends and indicators for quantifying moth abundance and occupancy in Scotland. Journal of Insect Conservation.

AuthorsDennis, E. B., Brereton, T. M., Morgan, B. J. T., Fox, R., Shortall, C. R., Prescott, T. and Foster, S.
Abstract

Moths form an important part of Scotland’s biodiversity and an up-to-date assessment of their status is needed given their value as a diverse and species-rich taxon, with various ecosystem roles, and the known decline of moths within Britain. We use long-term citizen-science data to produce species-level trends and multi-species indicators for moths in Scotland, to assess population (abundance) and distribution (occupancy) changes. Abundance trends for moths in Scotland are produced using Rothamsted Insect Survey count data, and, for the first time, occupancy models are used to estimate occupancy trends for moths in Scotland, using opportunistic records from the National Moth Recording Scheme. Species-level trends are combined to produce abundance and occupancy indicators. The associated uncertainty is estimated using a parametric bootstrap approach, and comparisons are made with alternative published approaches. Overall moth abundance (based on 176 species) in Scotland decreased by 20% for 1975–2014 and by 46% for 1990–2014. The occupancy indicator (based on 230 species) showed a 16% increase for 1990–2014. Alternative methods produced similar indicators and conclusions, suggesting robustness of the results, although rare species may be under-represented in our analyses. Species abundance and occupancy trends were not clearly correlated; in particular species with negative population trends showed varied occupancy responses. Further research into the drivers of moth population changes is required, but increasing occupancy is likely to be driven by a warming summer climate facilitating range expansion, whereas population declines may be driven by reductions in habitat quality, changes in land management practices and warmer, wetter winters.

KeywordsAbundance ; Citizen science; Lepidoptera; Multi-species indicators; National Moth Recording Scheme; Occupancy
Year of Publication2019
JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s10841-019-00135-z
Web address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10841-019-00135-z#citeas
Open accessPublished as green open access
Funder project or codeThe Rothamsted Insect Survey - National Capability [2017-2022]
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publisher's versionDennis2019_Article_TrendsAndIndicatorsForQuantify.pdf
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online05 Apr 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted31 Jan 2019
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1366-638X

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/8wqqv/trends-and-indicators-for-quantifying-moth-abundance-and-occupancy-in-scotland

Total views: 20

Total downloads: 35

Views this month: 1

Downloads this month: 3