Essay Example on Study to Determine Impacts of Shifting Climates on Organisms








Chapter Two The Review of the Related Literature Monarch butterfly populations have been a topic of study to determine impacts of shifting climates on organisms As populations decline this indicator species reveals factors that cause their life cycle to be disrupted The Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus is of particular concern as it completes the longest insect migration in the world Howard E Davis A 2008 This migration along with the Monarch butterflies complete dependence on milkweed plants such as Asclepias humistrata to lay eggs on and for their young to feed on as they grow Butterflies are proof of functioning and sustainable environments so this rapid decline in their population are the beginning signs of distress in various areas Changing climates disrupt the growing pattern for these milkweed plants which prevents the butterflies from being able to lay their eggs upon arriving back from their migration Population dynamic studies are used to determine the composition of species which are used to analyze the makeup of various populations as they change These are also done in conjunction with phylogeny studies which are studies of the relations of groups or organisms This study is based on a 10 year phylogeny study that spans 12 different at risk species of butterflies This study aims to review the impact of changing climates on the Monarch butterfly as they migrate

The hypothesis for this study is as areas get warmer earlier this will have a negative effect on Monarch butterfly population in the Maryland Washington D C and Virginia area Climate Change Climate change is defined as a change in global or regional climate changes Wolfe 2016 This is caused by a wide range of factors mostly involving human influences The major negative effects of climate change are not only found in warmer weather but in the changing weather patterns Roy D B Rothery P Moss D Pollard E and Thomas J A 2001 Organisms depend on the weather patterns to migrate mate and find food however as these patterns change organisms must adapt or face death Monarch butterflies overwinter in Mexico so as these weather patterns change large storms along with logging practices destroy the forests vital for this stage of their lives Rossiter M C Oecologia 1991 Without these forests to provide a habitat the butterflies are left exposed to predators and the elements through the winter Population Dynamic Studies Population dynamic studies review populations to the composition of the population relative to size and age range Rossiter M C Oecologia 1991 This study determines fluctuations in populations such as birth and death rates Phylogeny Study Conservation Lepidoptera Lepidoptera is the order that includes butterflies and moths Capinera J 2008 This order is made unique in that they complete a process called holometaboly or complete metamorphosis Belles X 2011 This process includes a transformation from the egg to the caterpillar also known as the larvae or first instar stage stage After the first instar there are two molting periods which are the second and third instar stages This is the middle of the caterpillars molting as they then proceed to a fourth and fifth molting period which when completed produce a full grown caterpillar Now the fifth instar is ready to pupate

This process will involve one final molting state which will then create the chrysalis for the transformation to an adult butterfly or moth In this chrysalis or pupa stage the caterpillar will undergo a complete transformation Wings which were forming during the fourth instar molt will develop along with antennae The chrysalis stage lasts about two weeks and at the completion of this transformation the new butterfly will emerge Immediately after emergence the butterfly must allow its wings to stretch and dry before it is able to fly This adult butterfly will mate lay eggs and start the cycle again Gustafsson K 2015 Monarch Butterflies Poisonous Tuskes P Brower L 1978 Migration Flockhart D Pichancourt J Norris D and Martin T 2015 Milkweed Fischer S Williams E Brower L Palmiotto P 2015 Pleasants J and Oberhauser K 2013 Dumroese R Luna T Pinto J Landis T 2016 Morse D 1985 Nature s Notebook Nature's Notebook is an online database that allows for citizen scientists to upload data from designated sites on specific organisms This also allows for the documentation of plant growth and documenting activities such as butterfly flight mating or eating behaviors

This organization was the provider of the data for this study Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary is an area in Lothian Maryland that houses a multitude of surveys studies research projects and phylogeny projects including a review of 12 butterfly species in the area This was the site involved in the data collection for this study http jugbay org research butterfly Various citizen scientists collect data from March October and this is uploaded to the Nature s Notebook database Data for this study was collected from this area in a location made to attract butterflies with various species of milkweed and flowers Summary Monarch butterflies and their populations are determined by a multitude of factors that are easily disrupted

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