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Data from: Climatic effects on population declines of a rare wetland species and the role of spatial and temporal isolation as barriers to hybridization


Rohde, Katja et al. (2017), Data from: Climatic effects on population declines of a rare wetland species and the role of spatial and temporal isolation as barriers to hybridization, Dryad, Dataset,


Climate change and climatic extremes may affect species directly or indirectly. While direct climatic effects have been intensively studied, indirect effects, such as increasing hybridization risk, are poorly understood. The goal of our study was to analyse the impact of climate on population dynamics of a rare habitat specialist, Chorthippus montanus, as well as the fine-scale spatial overlap with a sympatric habitat generalist, Chorthippus parallelus and the dispersion of hybrids. We were particularly interested in the role of spatiotemporal overlap on heterospecific encounter frequencies. We conducted high-precision mark-recapture studies on two sites over 7 years and genotyped 702 individuals of two C. montanus generations to detect hybrids. We tested the performance of three programs (structure, newhybrids and adegenet) and accepted only hybrids detected by the two best performing programs. We then tested for correlations between yearly population trends and climatic variables. Furthermore, we analysed the spatial dispersion of both taxa and the hybrids to calculate variation in spatial and temporal overlap and infer heterospecific encounter probabilities. Our results revealed that droughts during the egg phase and rainy weather during nymphal development were strongly correlated with population declines in the habitat specialist. The highest hybridization rate (19·6%) was found in the population with lowest population size. The combined effects of spatial and temporal niche overlap decreased heterospecific encounter probabilities to 4·2–7·6% compared to 20–28% and 11–19% calculated alone from phenology or spatial overlap respectively. Hybrids were detected in areas of higher heterospecific encounter probability, mainly at the edge of the specialists’ occupied habitat in areas with intermediate soil moisture conditions compared to the parental species. This illustrates that the combination of spatial and temporal segregation provides an effective barrier to hybridization. However, the high hybridization rate in one of the populations suggests that this function may decrease with decreasing population size. This supports the hypothesis that climatic extremes threaten rare species directly by reducing reproductive success and may indirectly increase hybridization risk.

Usage Notes


Rhineland Palatinate