Data from: Successful despite poor flight performance: range expansion is associated with enhanced exploratory behaviour and fast development
Reim, Elisabeth; Blesinger, Simone; Förster, Lisa; Fischer, Klaus (2018), Data from: Successful despite poor flight performance: range expansion is associated with enhanced exploratory behaviour and fast development, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kg025m9
Anthropogenic interference forces species to respond to changing environmental conditions. One possible response is dispersal and concomitant range shifts, allowing individuals to escape unfavourable conditions or to track the shifting climate niche. Range expansions depend on both dispersal capacity and the ability to establish populations beyond the former range. We here compare well-established core populations with recently established edge populations in the currently northward expanding butterfly Lycaena tityrus. Edge populations were characterized by shorter development times and smaller size, a higher sensitivity to high temperature, and an enhanced exploratory behaviour. The differences between core and edge populations found suggest adaptation to local climates and an enhanced dispersal ability in edge populations. In particular, enhanced exploratory behaviour may be advantageous in all steps of the dispersal process and may have facilitated the current range expansion. This study describes differences associated with a current range expansion, knowledge which might be useful for a better understanding of species responses to environmental change. We further report on variation between males and females in morphology and flight behaviour, with males showing a longer flight endurance and more pronounced exploratory behaviour than females.