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Population Genetics of Butterflies

Abstract : In a world where natural habitats are fast disappearing and where the landscape is intensively managed, even in nature reserves, it is important to understand the consequences of management and large-scale processes on populations. In this respect, studies of butterflies have been seminal in understanding how landscape structure affects populations (Ehrlich & Hanski 2004; Chapters D1 & D2). From a genetic perspective, the population structure of a given species in a particular landscape depends on a series of parameters : population size in each patch of habitat, movements between these patches, and the level of immigration and emigration to and from the system, together with their respective points of origin or destination. The two key factors determining the population structure of butterfly populations are the spatial distribution of their habitats and the ability of each species to disperse through the different components of the habitat matrix in the landscape. Different species may respond differently from the same change in habitat structure, depending on their movement ability and their habitat choice mainly, but not exclusively, determined by their choice of host plants. Due to the attractiveness of butterflies, and their usefulness as model systems for biological questions, there has been a considerable amount of material written on butterfly biology, largely in Europe. This book synthesizes all relevant and recent knowledge in the field, which is a must for those making use of this taxonomic group as a model system. It is divided into five major parts which deal with habitat use, population ecology and genetics, evolutionary ecology, distribution and phylogeny, and global change and conservation. There are growing numbers of scientific projects and networks in Europe in which the use of butterflies as tools and targets for conservation is central, and application of knowledge is closely related to European cultural landscapes. However, the chapters can also be applied to a wide geographic scope. Written by an international team of experts, this timely book is suitable for students, researchers and enthusiasts.
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Gabriel Nève. Population Genetics of Butterflies. Josef Settele; Tim Shreeve; Martin Konvička; Hans Van Dyck. The Ecology of Butterflies in Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2009, 978-0521766975. ⟨hal-01957073⟩

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