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Doctoral thesis, 2012

Expansion rate & dispersal pattern of the non-native Roesel’s bush-cricket in Sweden

Preuss, Sonja


Environmental change and anthropogenic activities influence species distributions. Species introductions have become increasingly common in an era of globalization and increased international trade and travel. The establishment of introduced species outside their native range and subsequent spread are of great conservation concern. Introduced species that become invasive, spread rapidly and reach high abundance, may cause the extinction of native species, disrupt ecosystem functioning and pose a threat to human health and the economy. It is therefore of great interest to understand the processes and mechanisms involved in species range expansion in order to develop effective management strategies. In this thesis I examine the influence of the landscape on species’ distribution and analyse patterns of range expansion of a non-native insect in south-central Sweden. Roesel’s bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeselii) was chosen as a model organism as its biology is well studied and its range expansion has been documented not only in Sweden but also in several other European countries. The aims of this thesis were (I) to identify landscape variables that predict the species distribution, (II) to estimate the rate of range expansion, (III) to identify the source of range expansion in south-central Sweden and to assess the dispersal pattern using population genetic data, and (IV) to analyse the influence of landscape composition and structure on population connectivity. I analysed species distribution, genetic and landscape data using a range of statistical modelling techniques in combination with geographic information systems (GIS). The results showed that the amounts of arable land, pasture and rural settlements as well as linear habitat elements are important predictors of the species’ distribution. During the last three decades, Metrioptera roeselii has expanded its range from the northern shores of the Lake Mälaren at an estimated rate of 0.3 - 3.16 km/year. The genetic diversity across the range was surprisingly high and degree of population differentiation was low to moderate likely due to frequent gene flow between populations in the centre of the species range and decreased gene flow towards the range margin. It appears the species establishes populations through infrequent long-distance and frequent short-distance dispersal (natural, human-mediated).


distribution modelling; genetic diversity; gene flow; landscape analyses; Orthoptera; range expansion

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2012, number: 2012:44
ISBN: 978-91-576-7680-1
Publisher: Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Preuss, Sonja
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

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