The effects of short-term climate change on the range of species: the case of the expanding European dwarf mantis Ameles spallanzania in Italy (Mantodea: Amelidae)
Keywords:Ameles spallanzania, maxent , range expantion , neonative species, Alien species
Climate change is altering the distribution of many species, which shift their range chasing the suitable conditions to survive and reproduce. Within a few years, the European dwarf mantis (Ameles spallanzania) seems to have expanded its range towards northern Italy, settling in the Po Valley and reaching the Alps. Our goal was to investigate the relationship between the climate of the last four decades in Italy and the distribution of this species in the current period and in the past. The results indicate that during the last decades, a rapid and remarkable increase in climatic suitable area for this species in northern Italy has occurred, while in the range of historical presence it has remained rather constant. However, the existence of corridors such as railway embankments and roadsides may have accelerated its dispersal. These results suggest that a short-term climate change and in particular the rise in the average annual temperature, may contribute significantly to the rapid expansion of a thermophilic species, with hitherto unknown consequences on the ecological communities it reaches.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Luca Anselmo, William Di Pietro, Oscar Maioglio, Roberto Battiston
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