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1 September 2015 The Disconnect Between Summer and Winter Monarch Trends for the Eastern Migratory Population: Possible Links to Differing Drivers
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Abstract

The decline of the eastern population of the migratory monarch has become a topic of great concern, but has been based entirely on patterns observed in overwinter colony sizes. Less attention has been paid to population trends during other phases of the migratory cycle. Here, we present an analysis of trends using three monitoring programs, one focused on overwinter colony size and two focused on summer breeding grounds. We discovered an alarming steepening in the decline of winter colony size since 2008. However, population indices from two independent summer monitoring programs were characterized by high year-to-year variability and no statistically detectable trends over time. Despite the mismatch in summer and winter patterns, there is still an association between the yearly fluctuations between these key periods, suggesting a link in population dynamics throughout the year. Further, a suggestion of a downturn near the end of the summer time-series should be carefully tracked into the future. We discuss two possible reasons for this disconnect: 1) higher levels of variance or possibly biased sampling could weaken any statistical signal, and 2) losses during fall migration could potentially contribute to overwinter declines.

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
Leslie Ries, Douglas J. Taron, and Eduardo Rendón-Salinas "The Disconnect Between Summer and Winter Monarch Trends for the Eastern Migratory Population: Possible Links to Differing Drivers," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 108(5), 691-699, (1 September 2015). https://doi.org/10.1093/aesa/sav055
Received: 28 January 2015; Accepted: 9 June 2015; Published: 1 September 2015
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