The consequences of climate change for biogeographic range dynamics depend on the spatial scales at which climate influences focal species directly and indirectly via biotic interactions. An overlooked question concerns the extent to which microclimates modify specialist biotic interactions, with emergent properties for communities and range dynamics. Here, we use an in-field experiment to assess egg-laying behaviour of a range-expanding herbivore across a range of natural microclimatic conditions. We show that variation in microclimate, resource condition and individual fecundity can generate differences in egg-laying rates of almost two orders of magnitude in an exemplar species, the brown argus butterfly (
). This within-site variation in fecundity dwarfs variation resulting from differences in average ambient temperatures among populations. Although higher temperatures did not reduce female selection for host plants in good condition, the thermal sensitivities of egg-laying behaviours have the potential to accelerate climate-driven range expansion by increasing egg-laying encounters with novel hosts in increasingly suitable microclimates. Understanding the sensitivity of specialist biotic interactions to microclimatic variation is, therefore, critical to predict the outcomes of climate change across species' geographical ranges, and the resilience of ecological communities.
We inventoried lichens in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, USA We assembled the known information on occurrence and ecology of lichens in this park by combining field, herbarium, and literature studies. Our results provide baseline data on lichen occurrence that may be used in resource condition assessments, vulnerability assessments, long-term ecological monitoring, and resource management. We report a total of 616 taxa of lichenized fungi from the Park, plus an additional five subspecies and three varieties, all of which are new additions to the National Park Service database for this park unit. An additional five species of nonlichenized lichenicolous fungi are reported here. Eight non-lichenized fungi that are traditionally treated with lichens are also included, most of these associated with bark of particular host species. Four taxa new to North America are reported here (Arctomia delicatula var. acutior, Aspicilia dudinensis, Myriospora myochroa, and Ochrolechia bahusiensis), along with 44 species new to Alaska. Numerous species have been confirmed using ITS barcoding sequences. Also several records assigned to the genus level are reported, many of those are likely new species.