Advertisement

Investigation on the declining Southern Damselfly (Coenagrion mercuriale, Odonata) in a Mediterranean population: survival rate and population size

  • Gianandrea La PortaEmail author
  • Enzo Goretti
ORIGINAL PAPER
  • 7 Downloads

Abstract

Coenagrion mercuriale (Charpentier, 1840) is a damselfly classified as ‘Near Threatened’ by the Global IUCN Red List and as ‘Endangered’ in some parts of its range. The species is characterized by fragmented and declining populations with their core in the western Mediterranean and parts of western Europe. This study reported the first estimates of survival rate and population size for a southern European population of Coenagrion mercuriale living in central Italy. Surveys were carried out in 2017 in the peak of the flight period applying capture–recapture models. More than 1200 specimens were captured on 11 occasions and the sex ratio observed was male-biased (2.8:1). Daily survival probabilities ranged from 0.662 ± 0.059 to 0.868 ± 0.045. Maximum longevity was 14 days for males. The maximum number of estimated individuals on any day was 507.2 ± 49.6 for males, and 219.8 ± 27.7 for females in mid-June. The estimate of the cumulative population size was about 4000 specimens, with a mean density of 1.2 individuals/m2 at the breeding site. Our results pointed out that population ecology of the Southern Damselfly in central Italy is similar to that of the populations living in the northern limit of its range. The present study also indicated that monitoring plans, with seven marking occasions at least, can provide consistent estimations of population size, useful for evaluating the viability of populations and for assessing the species conservation status.

Keywords

Odonata Coenagrion mercuriale Capture-mark-recapture Survival Sex ratio Sampling effort Central Italy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to Prof. E. Gaino for reading the manuscript and giving helpful advice for improvements. Also, we thank the anonymous reviewers, Dr. Maes and Dr. Nowicki for their valuable comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10841_2019_160_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (5 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 4 kb)
10841_2019_160_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (11 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 10 kb)

References

  1. Allen KA, Thompson DJ (2014) Population size and survival estimates for the rare damselflies, Coenagrion mercuriale and Ischnura pumilio. Insect Conserv Divers 7:241–251.  https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12047 Google Scholar
  2. Bennett S, Mill PJ (1995) Pre-and post-maturation survival in adults of the damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). J Zool 235:559–575.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1995.tb01768.x Google Scholar
  3. Boudot JP, Kalkman VVJ, Amorín M (2009) Atlas of the Odonata of the Mediterranean and North Africa. Libellula Suppl 9:1–256Google Scholar
  4. Boudot JP, Knijf GD, Dyatlova E, Riservato E (2010) European red list of dragonflies. IUCN Publications Services, LuxemburgGoogle Scholar
  5. Bried JT, Samways MJ (2015) A review of odonatology in freshwater applied ecology and conservation science. Freshw Sci 34:1023–1031.  https://doi.org/10.1086/682174 Google Scholar
  6. Bried JT, D’Amico F, Samways MJ (2011) A critique of the dragonfly delusion hypothesis: why sampling exuviae does not avoid bias. Insect Conserv Divers 5:398–402.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-4598.2011.00171.x Google Scholar
  7. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (eds) (2004) Model selection and multimodel inference. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Carchini G, Di Domenico M, Pacione T et al (2003) Species distribution and habitat features in lentic Odonata. Ital J Zool 70:39–46.  https://doi.org/10.1080/11250000309356494 Google Scholar
  9. Carchini G, Solimini AG, Ruggiero A (2005) Habitat characteristics and odonate diversity in mountain ponds of central Italy. Aquatic conservation: marine and freshwater ecosystems. Wiley, New York, pp 573–581Google Scholar
  10. Choquet R, Reboulet A-M, Lebreton J et al (2005) U-CARE 22 user’s manual. CEFE, Montpellier.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10720162.2016.1162237 Google Scholar
  11. Coignet A, Pinet F, Souty-Grosset C (2012) Estimating population size of the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in fish-ponds (Brenne, Central France). Knowl Manag Aquat Ecosyst.  https://doi.org/10.1051/kmae/2012019 Google Scholar
  12. Conrad KF, Herman TB (1990) Seasonal dynamics, movements and the effects of experimentally increased female densities on a population of imaginal Calopteryx aequabilis (Odonata: Calopterygidae). Ecol Entomol 15:119–129.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2311.1990.tb00792.x Google Scholar
  13. Cooch E, White G (2002) Program MARK “A gentle introduction”, 14th edn. http://www.phidot.org/software/mark/docs/book/. Accessed 13 May 2019
  14. Corbet PS (1999) Dragonflies: behavior and ecology of Odonata. Harley Books, ColchesterGoogle Scholar
  15. Corbet PS, Hoess R (1998) Sex ratio of Odonata At emergence. Int J Odonatol 1:99–118.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13887890.1998.9748099 Google Scholar
  16. Cordero-Rivera A, Stoks R (2008) Mark-recapture studies and demography. Dragonflies and damselflies: model organisms for ecological and evolutionary research. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 7–20Google Scholar
  17. Cordoba-Aguilar A (1993) Population structure in Ischnura denticollis (Burmeister) (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). Odonatologica 22:455–464Google Scholar
  18. Cordoba-Aguilar A (2008) Model organisms for ecological and evolutionary research. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  19. Darwall WR, Holland RA, Smith KG et al (2011) Implications of bias in conservation research and investment for freshwater species. Conserv Lett 4(6):474–482.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-263x.2011.00202.x Google Scholar
  20. Dayal V (2015) An introduction to R for quantitative economics. Springer India, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  21. Deacon C, Samways MJ (2017) Conservation planning for the extraordinary and endangered Spesbona damselfly. J Insect Conserv 21:121–128.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-017-9960-8 Google Scholar
  22. Di Giovanni MV, Goretti E, La Porta G, Ceccagnoli D (2000) Larval development of Libellula depressa (Odonata, Libellulidae) from pools in central Italy. Ital J Zool 67:343–348Google Scholar
  23. Dijkstra K, Lewington R (2006) Field guide to the dragonflies of britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing, DorsetGoogle Scholar
  24. Dolný A, Harabiš F, Mižičová H (2014) Home range, movement, and distribution patterns of the threatened dragonfly Sympetrum depressiusculum (Odonata: Libellulidae): a thousand times greater territory to protect? PLoS ONE 9:e100408.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0100408 Google Scholar
  25. Dudgeon D, Arthington AH, Gessner MO et al (2006) Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challenges. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 81:163–182.  https://doi.org/10.1017/s1464793105006950 Google Scholar
  26. Ferreira S, Martínez-Freiría F, Boudot J-PP et al (2015) Local extinctions and range contraction of the endangered Coenagrion mercuriale in North Africa. Int J Odonatol 18:137–152.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13887890.2015.1017846 Google Scholar
  27. Frankham R, Ballou JD, Briscoe DA (2002) Introduction to conservation genetics. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  28. Giugliano L, Hardersen S, Santini G (2012) Odonata communities in retrodunal ponds: a comparison of sampling methods. Int J Odonatol 15:13–23.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13887890.2012.660403 Google Scholar
  29. Goretti E, Ceccagnoli D, La Porta G, Di Giovanni MV (2001) Larval development of Aeshna cyanea (Muller, 1764) (Odonata: Aeshnidae) in Central Italy. Hydrobiologia 457:149–154Google Scholar
  30. Hamilton LD, Montgomerie RD (1989) Population demography and sex ratio in a Neotropical damselfly (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) in Costa Rica. J Trop Ecol 5:159–171.  https://doi.org/10.1017/s0266467400003424 Google Scholar
  31. Hardersen S, Corezzola S, Gheza G et al (2017) Sampling and comparing odonate assemblages by means of exuviae: statistical and methodological aspects. J Insect Conserv 21:207–218.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-017-9969-z Google Scholar
  32. Hassall C (2015) Odonata as candidate macroecological barometers for global climate change. Freshw Sci 34:1040–1049.  https://doi.org/10.1086/682210 Google Scholar
  33. Hunger H, Röske W, Roeske W (2001) Short-range dispersal of the Southern damselfly (Coenagrion mercuriale, Odonata) defined experimentally using UV fluorescent ink. Z Okol Nat 9:181–187Google Scholar
  34. Janks MR, Barker NP (2013) Using mark-recapture to provide population census data for use in red listing of invertebrates: the rare terrestrial snail Prestonella bowkeri as a case study. Biodivers Conserv 22:1609–1621.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-013-0495-3 Google Scholar
  35. Keller D, Holderegger R (2013) Damselflies use different movement strategies for short- and long-distance dispersal. Insect Conserv Divers 6:590–597.  https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12016 Google Scholar
  36. Korbaa M, Ferreras-romero M, Ruiz-garcía A (2018) TSOI—a new index based on odonata populations to assess the conservation relevance of watercourses in Tunisia. Odonatologica 47:43–72.  https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1239945 Google Scholar
  37. La Porta G, Dell’Otto A, Speziale A et al (2013) Odonata biodiversity in some protected areas of umbria, Central Italy. Odonatologica 42:125–137Google Scholar
  38. Laake JL (2013) RMark: an R interface for analysis of capture-recapture data with MARK. In: Laake JL (ed) AFSC processed rep 2013-01. Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, p 25Google Scholar
  39. Lebreton AJ, Burnham KP, Clobert J et al (1992) Modeling survival and testing biological hypotheses using marked animals: a unified approach with case studies. Ecol Monogr 62:67.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2937171 Google Scholar
  40. Macagno ALM, Boano G, Palestrini C et al (2008) Movement and demographics of Libellula fulva (Odonata, Libellulidae). Environ Entomol 37:1145–1153.  https://doi.org/10.1603/0046-225x Google Scholar
  41. Mahdjoub H, Khelifa R, Zebsa R et al (2015) Bivoltinism in Coenagrion mercuriale (Zygoptera: Odonata) in the southern margin of its distribution range: emergence pattern and larval growth. Afr Entomol 23:59–67.  https://doi.org/10.4001/003.023.0120 Google Scholar
  42. Maynou X, Martín R, Aranda D (2017) The role of small secondary biotopes in a highly fragmented landscape as habitat and connectivity providers for dragonflies (Insecta: Odonata). J Insect Conserv 21:517–530.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-017-9992-0 Google Scholar
  43. Nomakuchi S, Higashi K, Maeda M (1988) Synchronization of reproductive period among the two male forms and female of the damselfly Mnais pruinosa Selys (Zygoptera: Calopterygidae). Ecol Res 3:75–87.  https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02346931 Google Scholar
  44. Nowicki P, Settele J, Henry P-Y, Woyciechowski M (2008) Butterfly monitoring methods: the ideal and the real world. Isr J Ecol Evol 54:69–88.  https://doi.org/10.1560/ijee.54.1.69 Google Scholar
  45. Pollock KH (2000) Capture-recapture models. J Am Stat Assoc 95:293.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2669550 Google Scholar
  46. Pryke JS, Samways MJ, De Saedeleer K (2015) An ecological network is as good as a major protected area for conserving dragonflies. Biol Cons 191:537–545.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.07.036 Google Scholar
  47. Purse BV, Thompson DJ (2002) Voltinism and larval growth pattern in Coenagrion mercuriale (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) at its northern range margin. Eur J Entomol 99:11–18.  https://doi.org/10.14411/eje.2002.004 Google Scholar
  48. Purse BV, Thompson DJ (2005) Lifetime mating success in a marginal population of a damselfly, Coenagrion mercuriale. Anim Behav 69:1303–1315.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.10.009 Google Scholar
  49. Purse BV, Thompson DJ (2009) Oviposition site selection by Coenagrion mercuriale (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Int J Odonatol 12:257–273Google Scholar
  50. Purse BV, Hopkins GW, Day KJ, Thompson DJ (2003) Dispersal characteristics and management of a rare damselfly. J Appl Ecol 40:716–728.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2003.00829.x Google Scholar
  51. R Development Core Team R (2018) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  52. Raebel EM, Merckx T, Riordan P et al (2010) The dragonfly delusion: why it is essential to sample exuviae to avoid biased surveys. J Insect Conserv 14:523–533.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-010-9281-7 Google Scholar
  53. Regione Umbria, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila et al (2009) RERU—Rete Ecologica Regionale dell’Umbria. Petruzzi EditoreGoogle Scholar
  54. Richter O, Suhling F, Mueller O, Kern D (2008) A model for predicting the emergence of dragonflies in a changing climate. Freshw Biol 53:1868–1880.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2008.02012.x Google Scholar
  55. Riservato E, Fabbri R, Festi A et al (2014) Lista Rossa IUCN delle libellule italiane. Comitato italiano IUCN e Ministero dell’ambiente e della tutela del territorio e del Mare, RomeGoogle Scholar
  56. Rouquette JR, Thompson DJ (2005) Habitat associations of the endangered damselfly, Coenagrion mercuriale, in a water meadow ditch system in southern England. Biol Cons 123:225–235.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2004.11.011 Google Scholar
  57. Rouquette JR, Thompson DJ (2006) Roosting site selection in the endangered damselfly, Coenagrion mercuriale, and implications for habitat design. J Insect Conserv 11:187–193.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-006-9030-0 Google Scholar
  58. Rouquette JR, Thompson DJ (2007) Patterns of movement and dispersal in an endangered damselfly and the consequences for its management. J Appl Ecol 44:692–701.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2007.01284.x Google Scholar
  59. Santostasi NL, Bonizzoni S, Bearzi G et al (2016) A robust design capture-recapture analysis of abundance, survival and temporary emigration of three odontocete species in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. PLoS ONE 11:1–21.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166650 Google Scholar
  60. Sapsford SJ, Voordouw MJ, Alford RA, Schwarzkopf L (2015) Infection dynamics in frog populations with different histories of decline caused by a deadly disease. Oecologia 179:1099–1110.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-015-3422-3 Google Scholar
  61. Schultz CB, Hammond PC (2003) Using population viability analysis to develop recovery criteria for endangered insects: case study of the fender’s blue butterfly. Conserv Biol 17:1372–1385.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.02141.x Google Scholar
  62. Stoks R (2001) What causes male-biased sex ratios in mature damselfly populations? Ecol Entomol 26:188–197.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2311.2001.00303.x Google Scholar
  63. Sutherland WJ (2006) Ecological census techniques. A handbook, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  64. Turlure C, Pe’er G, Baguette M, Schtickzelle N (2018) A simplified mark-release-recapture protocol to improve the cost effectiveness of repeated population size quantification. Methods Ecol Evol 9:645–656.  https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210x.12900 Google Scholar
  65. Utzeri C (1989) Does marking activity affect longevity in dragonflies? In: Abstracts of the 10th international symposium of odonatology, Johnson City, p 37Google Scholar
  66. Watts PC, Wu JH, Westgarth C et al (2004) A panel of microsatellite loci for the Southern Damselfly, Coenagrion mercuriale (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Conserv Genet 5:117–119Google Scholar
  67. Watts PC, Kemp SJ, Saccheri IJ, Thompson DJ (2005) Conservation implications of genetic variation between spatially and temporally distinct colonies of the endangered damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale. Ecol Entomol 30:541–547.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0307-6946.2005.00721.x Google Scholar
  68. Watts PC, Rousset F, Saccheri IJ et al (2007a) Compatible genetic and ecological estimates of dispersal rates in insect (Coenagrion mercuriale: Odonata: Zygoptera) populations: analysis of ‘neighbourhood size’ using a more precise estimator. Mol Ecol 16:737–751.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294x.2006.03184.x Google Scholar
  69. Watts PC, Saccheri IJ, Kemp SJ, Thompson DJ (2007b) Effective population sizes and migration rates in fragmented populations of an endangered insect (Coenagrion mercuriale: Odonata). J Anim Ecol 76:790–800.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01249.x Google Scholar
  70. Watts PC, Thompson DJ, Ka Allen, Kemp SJ (2007c) How useful is DNA extracted from the legs of archived insects for microsatellite-based population genetic analyses? J Insect Conserv 11:195–198.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-006-9024-y Google Scholar
  71. White GC, Burnham KP (1999) Program MARK: survival estimation from populations of marked animals. Bird Study 46:S120–S139.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00063659909477239 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Chimica, Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di PerugiaPerugiaItaly

Personalised recommendations