Fine-scale movement behaviors of calopterygid damselflies are influenced by landscape structure: an experimental manipulation


  • Ian D. Jonsen,

  • Philip D. Taylor

I. D. Jonsen and P. D. Taylor, Atlantic Cooperative Wildlife Ecology Research Network, Biology Dept, Acadia Univ., Wolfville, NS, Canada B0P 1X0 (present address of IDJ: Lethbridge Research Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 3000, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4B1 []).


We explore the effect of differences in landscape structure, arising from habitat loss, on the fine-scale movement behaviors of two congeneric damselflies –Calopteryx aequabilis and C. maculata. Both species require streams for breeding and naiad development and both often use forest for foraging. We compare movement behaviors across three types of landscape: forested landscapes, where stream and forest habitat are adjacent; partially forested landscapes, where streams and forest habitat are disjunct, and non-forested landscapes, where little to no forest habitat is available. We employ a reciprocal transplant experiment to determine the extent to which movement along and away from streams is influenced by landscape structure and historical behavior or morphological adaptations. For both species, we show that both the propensity to move away from streams and rates of net displacement differ among landscape types. Both species move away from streams on landscapes with high or moderate levels of forest cover but neither moves away from streams on landscapes with little or no forest. Furthermore, C. maculata native to predominantly forested landscapes are more likely to move away from streams, regardless of the landscape structure they encounter, than are individuals native to moderately forested or non-forested landscapes. There was no effect of natal landscape on C. aequabilis. Comparisons with microlandscape studies suggest that there may be some general similarities among the different systems but these are clouded by uncertainty regarding the similarity of the underlying processes responsible for observed behavioral responses to landscape structure. Despite this uncertainty, animal movement behaviors are contingent upon the structure of the broader landscape, regardless of the absolute scale of the landscape.