2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference


A comparison of the effects of forest matrix habitat on the dispersal of two species of butterflies
Il W. Kim
Dr. Michael I. Kelrick and Dr. Steve F. Matter (University of Cincinnati ), Faculty Mentors

Rising treeline is fragmenting meadows in the Rocky Mountains. Research of Parnassius smintheus shows that intervening forest habitat decreases their dispersal. Butterflies avoid forest and fly shorter distances within forest than meadows. I propose to compare how Pontia occidentalis is affected by this fragmentation. To determine the effects of forest habitat, I will release approximately 50 individuals at 5 or 20 m from the forest edge in either forest or meadow and follow their flight. I will compare number of flights and mean distance moved for each habitat and distance. Measurement of turning angles will permit examination of edge avoidance. Data will be directly comparable to that for P. smintheus. I expect average flight distances for P. occidentalis within forest will exceed P. smintheus. Within meadows movement may be similar. P. occidentalis may show less edge avoidance. This research will provide information concerning how fragmentation affects species in contrasting ways.

Keywords: Rocky Mountains, patch, migration, dispersal, Alberta, fragmentation, edge avoidance


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 26-46
Location: OP Lobby & Atrium
Time: 1:15

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