BioRisk 5: 155-173, doi: 10.3897/biorisk.5.847
Changes in the range of dragonflies in the Netherlands and the possible role of temperature change
Tim Termaat, Vincent Kalkman, Jaap Bouwman
Abstract The trends of 60 Dutch dragonfly species were calculated for three different periods (1980–1993, 1994–1998 and 1999–2003). Comparing period 1 and period 3 shows that 39 of these species have increased, 16 have remained stable and 5 have decreased. These results show a revival of the Dutch dragonfly fauna, after decades of ongoing decline. The species were categorized in different species groups: species with a southern distribution range, species with a northern distribution range, species of running waters, species of fenlands and species of mesotrophic lakes and bogs. The trends of these different species groups were compared with the all-species control group. As expected, a significantly higher proportion of the southern species show a positive trend than the all-species group. In the northern species group on the contrary, a significantly higher proportion of the species show a negative trend than the all-species group. Different explanations for these results are discussed, such as climate change, improved quality of certain habitats and degradation of other habitats. It is likely that the observed increase of southern species is at least partly caused by the increasing temperatures. The less positive picture of the northern species group is probably more influenced by other environmental factor than directly by climate change.
Three out of six southern species which have become established since 1990 have done so during the aftermath of large invasions. It is concluded that dragonflies are well capable of using changing climate circumstances to colonise new habitats.