6. Population Structures and Dynamics

  1. T.R. New

Published Online: 20 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118409220.ch6

Lepidoptera and Conservation

Lepidoptera and Conservation

How to Cite

New, T.R. (ed) (2013) Population Structures and Dynamics, in Lepidoptera and Conservation, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118409220.ch6

Editor Information

  1. Department of Zoology, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118409213

Online ISBN: 9781118409220



  • butterflies;
  • metapopulation structure;
  • vulnerability


Loss or decline of populations, usually manifest by decrease in number and/or distribution, is the most frequent harbinger of conservation need, so that population size and population structure are both central to understanding that need. Populations are dynamic in time and space but, however they are defined, are a primary focus of conservation, with changes by natural or anthropogenic causes interpreted variously as normal or creating vulnerability. Closely related species can exhibit very different population structures, but some form of metapopulation structure is very common in butterflies to the extent that many species presumed earlier to have closed populations actually comprise metapopulations. Whilst much of the immediate relevance of mobility is in relation to population structure and dynamics, capability to undertake range shifts as responses to climate change may also reflect this variation.