1932

Abstract

Monarch butterflies () are familiar herbivores of milkweeds of the genus , and most monarchs migrate each year to locate these host plants across North American ecosystems now dominated by agriculture. Eastern migrants overwinter in high-elevation forests in Mexico, and western monarchs overwinter in trees on the coast of California. Both populations face three primary threats to their viability: () loss of milkweed resources for larvae due to genetically modified crops, pesticides, and fertilizers; () loss of nectar resources from flowering plants; and () degraded overwintering forest habitats due to commercially motivated deforestation and other economic activities. Secondary threats to population viability include () climate change effects on milkweed host plants and the dynamics of breeding, overwintering, and migration; () the influence of invasive plants and natural enemies; () habitat fragmentation and coalescence that promote homogeneous, species-depleted landscapes; and () deliberate culture and release of monarchs and invasive milkweeds.

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2018-01-07
2024-04-22
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