Discussion Questions

  • What is the significance of species range shifts?
  • How does our knowledge of past climatic conditions (aka The Pleistocene) influence our interpretation of modern range shifts?
  • How are boundary changes vs non-boundary changes similar and different? Do they influence species’ ecology in similar ways?
  • Parmesan et al. focuses on the role of climate in driving modern range shifts, but what other factors could/should be considered in analyzing the distributional changes of species?
  • How are latitudinal and altitudinal range shifts for boundary species similar and different? How does a species’ movement up a mountain or closer to the poles influence its ecology?
  • Parmesan et al. found no obvious phylogenetic component in butterfly range shift patterns. Are there other components that may influence the ability of butterflies to alter their distribution?
  • Butterflies are known to be sensitive to temperature. How do we apply the results of this study to other taxa?