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Data for: Perishing rich, expanding poor: Demography and population genetic patterns in two congeneric butterflies

Cite this dataset

Konvickova, Hana et al. (2023). Data for: Perishing rich, expanding poor: Demography and population genetic patterns in two congeneric butterflies [Dataset]. Dryad.


In human-altered landscapes, specialist butterflies typically form spatially restricted populations, genetically differentiated due to dispersal restrictions. Generalists, in contrast, display minimum differentiation but high genetic diversity. While local-level actions suffice to conserve specialists and landscape-level actions are necessary for generalists, minimum information exists regarding conservation of species with intermediate features. We targeted two congeneric butterflies, the recently re-expanding Argynnis adippe and the strongly declining A. niobe, co-occurring in the pastoral landscape of the Carpathian Mountains, Czech Republic. We integrated species distribution models, mark-recapture, and microsatellite analysis to compare their habitat requirements, adult demography, dispersal, and genetic patterns, and expanded the genetic analysis across the Carpathian Arc and beyond to delimit spatial conservation units. In two mountain valleys, both species formed interconnected populations numbering thousands of individuals. Mobility patterns suggested the populations’ interconnection across the Czech Carpathians. Genetic diversity was extremely poor in the non-threatened A. adippe and moderate in the declining A. niobe. No population differentiation was detected within the Czech Carpathians (ca 1500 km2). Low genetic diversity and no differentiation was preserved in A. adippe across East Central Europe, whereas in A. niobe, populations from Serbia were differentiated from the Carpathian Arc + Alps. The high adult mobility linked to low differentiation probably reflect the distribution of larval resources, historically widespread but sparse and currently declining for A. niobe (grazing-disturbed grounds), while currently increasing for A. adippe (abandonment scrub, disturbed woodlands). Units as large as entire mountain systems define population boundaries, and hence conservation management units, for both species.


Species distribution modelling (SDM) with Bayesian additive regression trees (BART).

Butterfly mark-release recapture with analalysis of capture circumstances and mobility. 

Microsatellite fragment analysis.


Czech Science Foundation, Award: P505/10/2167

University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice

Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Award: SS03010232