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Diversity, dynamics, direction, and magnitude of high-altitude migrating insects in the Sahel

Diversity, dynamics, direction, and magnitude of high-altitude migrating insects in the Sahel

Florio, Jenna, Verú, Laura M., Dao, Adama, Yaro, Alpha S., Diallo, Moussa, Sanogo, Zana L., Samaké, Djibril, Huestis, Diana L., Yossi, Ousman, Talamas, Elijah, Chamorro, M. Lourdes, Frank, J. Howard, Biondi, Maurizio, Morkel, Carsten, Bartlett, Charles, Linton, Yvonne-Marie, Strobach, Ehud, Chapman, Jason W., Reynolds, Don R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8749-7491, Faiman, Roy, Krajacich, Benjamin J., Smith, Corey S. and Lehmann, Tovi (2020) Diversity, dynamics, direction, and magnitude of high-altitude migrating insects in the Sahel. Scientific Reports, 10 (1):20523. pp. 1-14. ISSN 2045-2322 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77196-7)

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Abstract

Long-distance migration of insects impacts food security, public health, and conservation–issues that are especially significant in Africa. Windborne migration is a key strategy enabling exploitation of ephemeral havens such as the Sahel, however, its knowledge remains sparse. In this first cross-season investigation (3 years) of the aerial fauna over Africa, we sampled insects flying 40–290 m above ground in Mali, using nets mounted on tethered helium-filled balloons. Nearly half a million insects were caught, representing at least 100 families from thirteen orders. Control nets confirmed that the insects were captured at altitude. Thirteen ecologically and phylogenetically diverse species were studied in detail. Migration of all species peaked during the wet season every year across localities, suggesting regular migrations. Species differed in flight altitude, seasonality, and associated weather conditions. All taxa exhibited frequent flights on southerly winds, accounting for the recolonization of the Sahel from southern source populations. “Return” southward movement occurred in most taxa. Estimates of the seasonal number of migrants per species crossing Mali at latitude 14°N were in the trillions, and the nightly distances traversed reached hundreds of kilometers. The magnitude and diversity of windborne insect migration highlight its importance and impacts on Sahelian and neighboring ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecology, Zoology
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2020 23:40
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30336

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