Thesis Progress at CES on 17 January 2018 at 3:00 pm titled "Influence of habitat quality, landscape features and species traits on butterfly distribution patterns across landscape" by Ravi Jambhekar from CES
Predicting species distribution in space and time is one of the most interesting questions in ecology. The most important factors affecting species distribution in a habitat are environmental factors such as climate, resource distribution, etc. and dispersal factors such as barriers. Recent studies highlight the importance of functional traits along with environmental factors in influencing the species distributions in a landscape. An understanding of local processes acting within a habitat patch and properties of the landscape, which includes the connectivity between patches and matrix properties, may still not be sufficient to explain population density and distribution patterns, because the response of species to these ecological conditions may depend on species-specific or even population-specific traits, such as body size, behaviour and other functional traits. In this chapter I try to look at the distribution patterns of a butterfly community in a naturally fragmented forest-grassland landscape. I am planning to access species responses to local and landscape features along with the functional traits of the species as a way of understanding species distribution patterns. I propose to use this understanding to test relationships between landscape composition, and population density patterns of butterfly species and predict their relative vulnerability to habitat change.