The roles of temperature and host plant interactions in larval development and population ecology of Parnassius smintheus Doubleday, the Rocky Mountain Apollo butterfly

  • Author / Creator
    Doyle, Amanda
  • Alpine environments are harsh and unpredictable. Exogenous factors such as weather might therefore be expected to dominate processes affecting population dynamics of alpine organisms, relative to endogenous factors including plant-animal interactions. The alpine butterfly Parnassius smintheus Doubleday is a specialist on Sedum lanceolatum. I examine the importance of interactions between P. smintheus larvae and S. lanceolatum, specifically the potential for an induced defense, indicating that host plant/herbivore interactions may play a significant role in P. smintheus populations. I also examine the effect of temperature (as a component of climate) on the development and survival of P. smintheus caterpillars. Using laboratory and field studies I show that host plant interactions are not important for P. smintheus in the field, and instead moderate changes in temperature are more likely to affect P. smintheus populations. I suggest that any population-level effects of temperature will likely be indirect and mediated through phenological shifts.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Nadir Erbilgin (Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences)
    • J.C. Cahill (Biological Sciences)
    • Stephen Matter (University of Cincinnati)