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Monarch butterfly population decline in North America: identifying the threatening processes

TitleMonarch butterfly population decline in North America: identifying the threatening processes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsThogmartin W.E, Wiederholt R., Oberhauser K., Drum R.G, Diffendorfer J.E, Altizer S., Taylor O.R, Pleasants J., Semmens D., Semmens B., Erickson R., Libby K., Lopez-Hoffman L.
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Date Published2017/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2054-5703
Accession NumberWOS:000412168900051
Keywordsclimate-change; Danaus plexippus; danaus-plexippus; degradation; distributions; eastern; extreme weather; forest loss; glyphosate; impacts; least-squares regression; mexico; milkweed; neonicotinoid; soil; temperature

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population in North America has sharply declined over the last two decades. Despite rising concern over the monarch butterfly's status, no comprehensive study of the factors driving this decline has been conducted. Using partial least-squares regressions and time-series analysis, we investigated climatic and habitat-related factors influencing monarch population size from 1993 to 2014. Potential threats included climatic factors, habitat loss (milkweed and overwinter forest), disease and agricultural insecticide use (neonicotinoids). While climatic factors, principally breeding season temperature, were important determinants of annual variation in abundance, our results

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