Urban moths

Moth phenology and urban heat islands

Moths are sensitive to many environmental factors. Because they are ectotherms, one of the factors that affects their development and emergence time is ambient temperature. As urban areas become more developed, they typically have higher average temperatures and cool off less at night – especially during summer months. I am interested in seeing whether this urban heat island effect speeds up moth phenology in woodlots in the Birmingham area compared to more rural habitats.

For more info on this project, see my UHI moth research page

heatisland-main_0UHI locations 2012

Top: Diagram of urban heat island (UHI) from US EPA. Bottom: Google Earth image of Birmingham, AL, showing sampling locations along the urban-rural gradient

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Above: A bucket trap in action at night and students collecting specimens from a trap.