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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

We recorded Oeneis jutta (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) at 60 of 78 peatland sites in central and northern Wisconsin on butterfly transect surveys on 113 dates during 2002–11. Additional observations come from informal observations on 19 dates in 12 years during 1987–2001. Most sites where we did not find O. jutta had little survey effort. The areas with the lowest O. jutta abundance (coastal and inland Bayfield County) had the shortest flight periods recorded in this study. O. jutta abundance negatively and significantly correlated with increasing wind speed and later times of day. O. jutta abundance significantly varied by bog vegetation type and in similar bog vegetation between subregions. Within each bog type, O. jutta significantly increased in abundance with greater tree cover. O. jutta occurred in the full range of bog sizes surveyed (1.84–114.80 ha), including the most isolated small peatlands. O. jutta showed virtually no tendency to venture out of bogs. It was rarely found in roadsides (only when they bisected an occupied peatland) and not farther away from a peatland. O. jutta was significantly more abundant in even than odd years in northeast Wisconsin but not in the other subregions. Wisconsin peatlands present a natural experiment showing that localized butterfly populations such as O. jutta can persist for long periods in isolated sites as long as they remain relatively stable vegetatively.

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