19 Dec 2013

Lunch meeting: Dr Roger Kendrick on Moths and Climate Change

Dr. Roger Kendrick was with us today to talk about “Climate Changes - the Effect on Moths in HK”.  Roger noted that in HK data exists on the abundance and spatial (geographical & altitudinal) and temporal distribution of the adults of some 2,200 moth species.  Moths are the key biological taxon for recording the effects of human impact upon the environment, so the level of interest in moth data has increased dramatically in the last decade. 

Roger supposed the species phenology will change over time due to climate change.  The method he used was compute mean moth adult occurrences per generation for each year and compare years (linear regression) to see if any changes in voltinism or phenology for key species.  Voltinism?  If you’ve read this far, your humble editor can only be decent enough to look it up for you:  Voltinism is a term used in biology to indicate the number of broods or generations of an organism in a year, according to Wikipedia.  It is particularly used in the study of the silkworm.

The conclusion of the study is phenological changes apparent in some species, don’t have correlation (yet) with temp/rainfall.  Overall, species assemblages appear to be changing, shifting to “warm weather” assemblages. 

Sergeant at arm PP Peter Barrett collected HK$760 from the raffle and fines.  Roger helped to draw the lucky raffle number and the winner was Rtn Rebecca, who won a fortune book for the Year of Horse, which was donated by PP George Li.