Carnicer J., Brotons L., Stefanescu C., Peñuelas J. (2012) Biogeography of species richness gradients: Linking adaptive traits, demography and diversification. Biological Reviews. 87: 457-479.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2011.00210.x
Here we review how adaptive traits contribute to the emergence and maintenance of species richness gradients through their influence on demographic and diversification processes. We start by reviewing how demographic dynamics change along species richness gradients. Empirical studies show that geographical clines in population parameters and measures of demographic variability are frequent along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. Demographic variability often increases at the extremes of regional species richness gradients and contributes to shape these gradients. Available studies suggest that adaptive traits significantly influence demographic dynamics, and set the limits of species distributions. Traits related to thermal tolerance, resource use, phenology and dispersal seem to play a significant role. For many traits affecting demography and/or diversification processes, complex mechanistic approaches linking genotype, phenotype and fitness are becoming progressively available. In several taxa, species can be distributed along adaptive trait continuums, i.e. a main axis accounting for the bulk of inter-specific variation in some correlated adaptive traits. It is shown that adaptive trait continuums can provide useful mechanistic frameworks to explain demographic dynamics and diversification in species richness gradients. Finally, we review the existence of sequences of adaptive traits in phylogenies, the interactions of adaptive traits and community context, the clinal variation of traits across geographical gradients, and the role of adaptive traits in determining the history of dispersal and diversification of clades. Overall, we show that the study of demographic and evolutionary mechanisms that shape species richness gradients clearly requires the explicit consideration of adaptive traits. To conclude, future research lines and trends in the field are briefly outlined. © 2011 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2011 Cambridge Philosophical Society.
Suggitt A.J., Stefanescu C., Páramo F., Oliver T., Anderson B.J., Hill J.K., Roy D.B., Brereton T., Thomas C.D. (2012) Habitat associations of species show consistent but weak responses to climate. Biology Letters. 8: 590-593.EnllaçDoi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0112
Different vegetation types can generate variation in microclimates at local scales, potentially buffering species from adverse climates. To determine if species could respond to such microclimates under climatic warming, we evaluated whether ectothermic species (butterflies) can exploit favourable microclimates and alter their use of different habitats in response to year-to-year variation in climate. In both relatively cold (Britain) and warm (Catalonia) regions of their geographical ranges,most species shifted into cooler, closed habitats (e.g. woodland) in hot years, and into warmer, open habitats (e.g. grassland) in cooler years. Additionally, three-quarters of species occurred in closed habitats more frequently in the warm region than in the cool region. Thus, species shift their local distributions and alter their habitat associations to exploit favourable microclimates, although the magnitude of the shift (approx. 1.3% of individuals from open to shade, per degree Celsius) is unlikely to buffer species from impacts of regional climate warming. This journal is © 2012 The Royal Society.
Stefanescu C, Alarcón M, Izquierdo R, Páramo F, Àvila A (2011) Moroccan source areas for the Painted Lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui (Nymphalidae: Nymphalinae), migrating into Europe in spring. Journal of the Lepidopterists Society 65: 15-26.
Pino J, Guardiola M, Rodà F, Stefanescu C (2011) El deute d’extinció: una amenaça latent en una Catalunya canviant?. L'Atzavara 20: 17-27.
Peñuelas J, Filella I, Estiarte M, Ogaya R, Llusià J, Sardans J, Jump A, Curiel J, Carnicer J, Rutishauser T, Rico L, Keenan T, Garbulsky M, Coll M, Diaz de Quijano M, Seco R, Rivas-Ubach A, Silva J, Boada M, Stefanescu C, Lloret F, Terradas J (2011) Llebot E. (ed). Impactes, vulnerabilitat i retroalimentacions climàtiques als ecosistemes terrestres catalans. Segon informe sobre el canvi climàtic a Catalunya. Institut d'Estudis Catalans i Generalitat de Catalunya. Barcelona, pp. 373-407.
Stefanescu C., Carnicer J., Peñuelas J. (2011) Determinants of species richness in generalist and specialist Mediterranean butterflies: The negative synergistic forces of climate and habitat change. Ecography. 34: 353-363.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06264.x
Although it is well established that butterfly richness is affected by climate and human factors (e.g. habitat disturbance and degradation) at different spatial scales, the drivers behind these changes vary greatly according to the geographical region and the ecology of the species concerned. It is essential that this variation be understood if trends in diversity are to be predicted with any degree of confidence under a scenario of global change. Here we examine patterns of butterfly species richness among groups differing in degree of habitat specialization, diet breadth and mobility in the north-west Mediterranean Basin, a European hotspot for this taxon. We analyze a large number of butterfly communities and take into consideration the main potential drivers, that include climatic, geographic and resource variables, landscape structure and human environmental impact at different spatial scales. Our study shows that both climatic and anthropogenic factors play an important role in determining butterfly species richness in the north-west Mediterranean Basin, but that their relative impact differs between specialist and generalist groups. At lower altitudes, water availability, a product of the interplay between temperature and rainfall, and negative effects of temperature appear as the most determinant factors. Maximum diversity was observed at mid-altitudes, which reveals the importance from a conservation point of view of Mediterranean mountain ranges. The results suggest serious population declines in specialist species restricted to mountain areas as a result of climate warming in combination with habitat loss caused by the abandonment of grazing and mowing. They also suggest negative trends for generalist species due to an increase in aridity in combination with an increase in intensification of human land use in lowland areas. Such synergies are expected to lead to rapid declines in Mediterranean butterfly populations in the coming years, thereby posing a severe threat for the conservation of European biodiversity. © 2011 The Authors. Ecography © 2011 Ecography.
Àvila A, Stefanescu C (2010) La migració de les papallones: el cas de Vanessa cardui. Omnis Cellula 25:7.
Alarcón M, Àvila A, Belmonte J, Stefanescu C, Izquierdo R (2010) L’ús de models font-receptor per determinar àrees font de components biològics (pol·len i papallones). Tethys 7: 3-10. doi:10.3369/tethys.2010.7.01. ISSN-1697-1523. eISSN-1139-3394.
Peñuelas J, Filella I, Estiarte M, Ogaya R, Llusià J, Sardans J, Jump A, Curiel J, Carnicer J, Rutishauser T, Rico L, Keenan T, Garbulsky M, Coll M, Díaz de Quijano M, Seco R, Rivas-Ubach A, Silva J, Boada M, Stefanescu C, Lloret F, Terradas J (2010) Impactes, vulnerabilitat i retroalimentacions climàtiques als ecosistemes terrestres catalans. A: Llebot E. (ed). Segon informe sobre el canvi climàtic a Catalunya. Institut d'Estudis Catalans i Generalitat de Catalunya. pp. 373-407.
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