Evol Ecol Res 4: 993-1004 (2002)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Range sizes in butterflies: correlation across scales

Martin Brändle,* Sabine Öhlschläger and Roland Brandl

Department of Animal Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Philipps-University of Marburg, Karl-v.-Frisch Str. 1, D-35032 Marburg, Germany

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: braendle@mailer.uni-marburg.de


We assessed the importance of body size, niche measures, resource availability, life-history traits and population parameters for geographical range sizes of butterflies on a regional (Germany, Baden-Württemberg) and European scale. In univariate analyses we found that body size, habitat range, host range, altitudinal distribution, host distribution, the number of generations, dispersal ability and population size were all positively related to range sizes on the two geographic scales. These results were more or less similar in cross-species and phylogenetically controlled analyses. Hierarchical partitioning suggested that habitat range, host range and host distribution influence distributional range size on the regional scale. Body size, clutch size, dispersal ability and population size explained very little additional variance. On the European scale, the importance of altitudinal distribution increased and the importance of host range declined. Our analyses demonstrate that the processes which influence distributional range size of butterflies differ in their importance across scale.

Keywords: body size, butterflies, distribution, geographical scale, life-history traits, macroecology, niche breadth.

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