Climate change impact on distribution of dragonflies and damselflies

Grgić, Ivana (2016) Climate change impact on distribution of dragonflies and damselflies. Bachelor's thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

Language: Croatian

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Rapid increase of average temperature on the Earth started at the same time with the industrial revolution, and has led to a series of changes called climate change. In the last decades we have witnessed more and more frequent catastrophic events such as droughts, floods and fires. These events cause decrease in size or even loss of specific habitat types, which in many cases results in the extinction of stenovalent species. The most common way the organisms respond to the environmental changes caused by climate change, is in shifting their distribution. Due to the long tradition in studying Odonata, dragonflies and damselflies are among the better known animal group. Therefore, it is possible to monitor shifts in distribution of certain species and make conclusions about the patterns of such changes. Due to their mobility, dragonflies can easily colonize new habitats, and thus provide a good example of areal expansion under the influence of climate change. Species from warmer habitats usually move poleward, species living at lower altitudes move to higher altitudes and consequently suppress cold stenothermal species, which can finally lead to the extinction of these species. A number of studies have recorded an increase in the number of eurytherm species and a decrease in the number of species which prefer lower temperatures (stenotherm species), which is most probably a result of competition and habitat degradation. The first areal dragonfly expansion was recorded in Northern African eurytherm species Crocothemis erythraea, that nowadays has stable and permanent populations in the Northern Europe (Belgium and Great Britain). Some species (e.g. Anax parthenope and Sympetrum fonscolombii) can colonize new favorable habitats by travelling on air currents of the warm and dry southern wind, which can carry them long distances. Distribution changes (areal shifts) have a significant impact on biodiversity and community structure, but they also increase selection pressure, which in the long run, could lead to evolutionary changes.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's thesis)
Supervisor: Mihaljević, Zlatko
Co-supervisor: Vilenica, Marina
Date: 2016
Number of Pages: 17
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Grozdana Sirotic
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2016 08:44
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2016 08:44

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