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Data Paper (Biosciences)
Monitoring of adult emergence in the pine processionary moth between 1970 and 1984 in Mont Ventoux, France
expand article infoJean-Claude Martin, Jean-Pierre Rossi§, Maurane Buradino, Carole Kerdelhué§
‡ INRAE, UEFM, Avignon, France
§ INRAE, CBGP, Montpellier, France
Open Access

Abstract

Background

The current climate change has marked impacts on the phenology of species, i.e. the timing of the various stages of their life cycle. Yet, to fully understand how phenological patterns can be modified according to changes in temperature regimes, it is of prime importance to rely on high quality historical data. Here, we propose a very valuable dataset including individual monitoring from pupation to adult emergence of 46 479 individuals of pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) surveyed between 1970 and 1984 in southern France along an altitudinal gradient. As optional prolonged diapause occurs in this species, i.e. some individuals experience one or more years of diapause before emerging, the caterpillars sampled in any given year were monitored during up to 5 years. The goal was to give precise information about phenology in this species to further analyse its temporal patterns of variation.

New information

This dataset is unique by its richness and the type of data it contains. Phenology in the pine processionary moth is often monitored by the use of pheromone traps in the field, which does not provide all the necessary information, because it is then not possible to trace back the exact origin of the moth trapped, nor to characterise other steps of the life cycle. Moreover, as it corresponds to historical data dating back to the 70s and the 80s, the dataset provides a historical baseline of trends in the pre-warming period.

Introduction

Widely-distributed species encounter different ecological pressures throughout their range and their phenology can be locally tuned by adaptation to optimise resource use and climatic conditions faced by each life stage (Abarca and Lill 2019). In the recent years, climate change has strongly affected the phenology of many organisms, but the direction and strength of these responses proved to vary among species (Maurer et al. 2018). To analyse how species react to temperature changes, it is necessary to rely on time series that allow us to finely explore the relationship between yearly variations and the timing of major life cycle steps.

The pine processionary moth (PPM), Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae), is a univoltine species that reproduces in summer, immediately after adult emergence. Its larvae hatch and develop throughout autumn and winter in typical white tents built in conifer branches. At the end of larval development, they leave their host tree in head-to-tail procession in search of a suitable underground pupation site, where they stay until adult emergence the following summer. A proportion of the individuals can enter a so-called prolonged pupal diapause (semi-voltine cycle). In such a case, the pupa does not emerge as an adult the following summer, but remains in diapause for one or more complete year(s) and emerges one or several years after the other individuals (Battisti et al. 2015). The timing of adult emergence and sexual reproduction is dependent on local environmental conditions. It tends to occur earlier in northern sites and at high altitude, while it occurs later in southern sites at low altitude (Huchon and Démolin 1970). On the contrary, little is known about the drivers of yearly variation linked to temperatures in this species.

We here present an unprecedented dataset corresponding to a 15-year field monitoring experiment, documenting both individual dates of procession and dates of emergence in six sites located along an altitudinal gradient in southern France. We sampled 46 479 caterpillars when they were leaving their host tree at the end of larval development. Each individual was placed in laboratory conditions at room temperature until moth emergence. The dataset does not provide information about the sex of the monitored individuals nor about mortality factors. This individual-based dataset brings original information and allows analyses that cannot be conducted with classical pheromone trapping data. Yet, note that the protocol used forced larvae to pupate in laboratory conditions and that the emergence data we provide cannot directly be compared to data from pheromone traps in the field.

Sampling methods

Sampling description: 

Field sampling

At each study site, 10 Austrian pine trees (Pinus nigra) were selected and fitted with a wire and a net strapped on the trunk down to the ground to trap the caterpillars leaving the tree in search of a pupation site and to prevent them from burying themselves. When PPM density was very low, nests were sampled on other trees in the vicinity and grafted to the selected pines. All the sites were visited every day from 1 January to 31 May each year. The caterpillars trapped at the base of each tree were thus sampled and counted every day. The larvae were then separated, placed individually in a glass tube and identified with a unique code. Sampling date and location were recorded for each individual. Caterpillars sampled from the same tree at the same date were identified as belonging to the same batch; note that they might originate from different nests of the same tree and thus belong to several families.

Monitoring of adult emergence

The sampled larvae were brought back every day to Malaucène (altitude 340 m a.s.l.) and left in a non-heated laboratory under natural photoperiods at room temperature (not recorded). As larvae do not feed at this stage, no pine needles were provided. A month after pupation, cocoons were taken from the tubes and were put into plastic boxes filled with untreated sawdust; individuals from the same batch were grouped in the same box, with 100 individuals maximum per box. The boxes were checked daily from 1 June to 30 September, to record emergences. In case all individuals did not emerge, the box was monitored again the following year to allow recording of the date of emergence of the diapausing pupae, until the fifth year.

Geographic coverage

Description: 

The experimental design took place along an altitudinal gradient in Mont Ventoux, France. The sampling sites are detailed in Table 1. The laboratory, where the larvae were allowed to pupate and were monitored daily, was situated in Malaucène (longitude 5.140, latitude 44.192 and altitude 340 m a.s.l.). The sites and the laboratory can be seen in Fig. 1.

Table 1.

Name, geographic coordinates and altitude of the study sites.

Site name

Code

Country State Locality

Latitude (dd)

Longitude (dd)

Altitude

Portail St Jean

G445 France Vaucluse Malaucène

44.164

5.141

445 m

2ème Plateforme

C671 France Vaucluse Malaucène

44.159

5.153

671 m

Bramefam

B697

France Vaucluse Malaucène

44.162

5.158

697 m

le Camp

A688

France Vaucluse Malaucène

44.164

5.155

688 m

Fribouquet

F781

France Vaucluse Beaumont-du-Ventoux

44.168

5.177

781 m

Les Ramayettes

R923

France Vaucluse Beaumont-du-Ventoux

44.169

5.196

923 m

Figure 1.  

3D view of the six sites along the altitudinal gradient and location of the laboratory where the pupae were monitored until emergence. The map in the top left corner shows the location of the study site in France.

Taxonomic coverage

Description: 

The study concerns the pine processionary moth Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Denis & Schiffermüller) (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae) sampled from the black pine Pinus nigra (Arnold).

Temporal coverage

Notes: 

The study took place each year between 1970 and 1984. Caterpillars were sampled in the field every day between 1 January and 31 May and adult emergence was monitored between 1 June and 30 September.

Usage licence

Usage licence: 
Creative Commons Public Domain Waiver (CC-Zero)

Data resources

Data package title: 
Identification, date of sampling and date of adult emergence in the six study sites
Resource link: 
https://data.inrae.fr/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi: 10.15454/FGRKAY
Number of data sets: 
6
Data set name: 
Emergence data for site G445 (file name: SiteG_EmergenceData.csv)
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
site Site code, refers to Table 1
year of sampling Year when the caterpillars were sampled while in procession. Format yy
batch Unique batch identifier (1 batch = one group of caterpillars sampled at the same time from the same tree). The unique code is constructed as site-year-number
date of sampling Day when the caterpillars from the batch identified in the previous column were sampled and brought back to the lab. Format yyyy-mm-dd
year of emergence Year when adults emerged in the lab. Format yyyy
date of emergence Day of the control of emergence (everyday between 1 June and 30 September each year after sampling). Format yyyy-mm-dd
number of individuals emerged Number of adults emerged at the corresponding date
Data set name: 
Emergence data for site C671 (file name: SiteC_EmergenceData.csv)
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
site Site code, refers to Table 1
year of sampling Year when the caterpillars were sampled while in procession. Format yy
batch Unique batch identifier (1 batch = one group of caterpillars sampled at the same time from the same tree). The unique code is constructed as site-year-number
date of sampling Day when the caterpillars from the batch identified in the previous column were sampled and brought back to the lab. Format yyyy-mm-dd
year of emergence Year when adults emerged in the lab. Format yyyy
date of emergence Day of the control of emergence (everyday between 1 June and 30 September each year after sampling). Format yyyy-mm-dd
number of individuals emerged Number of adults emerged at the corresponding date
Data set name: 
Emergence data for site A688 (file name: SiteA_EmergenceData.csv)
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
site Site code, refers to Table 1
year of sampling Year when the caterpillars were sampled while in procession. Format yy
batch Unique batch identifier (1 batch = one group of caterpillars sampled at the same time from the same tree). The unique code is constructed as site-year-number
date of sampling Day when the caterpillars from the batch identified in the previous column were sampled and brought back to the lab. Format yyyy-mm-dd
year of emergence Year when adults emerged in the lab. Format yyyy
date of emergence Day of the control of emergence (everyday between 1 June and 30 September each year after sampling). Format yyyy-mm-dd
number of individuals emerged Number of adults emerged at the corresponding date
Data set name: 
Emergence data for site B697 (file name: SiteB_EmergenceData.csv)
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
site Site code, refers to Table 1
year of sampling Year when the caterpillars were sampled while in procession. Format yy
batch Unique batch identifier (1 batch = one group of caterpillars sampled at the same time from the same tree). The unique code is constructed as site-year-number
date of sampling Day when the caterpillars from the batch identified in the previous column were sampled and brought back to the lab. Format yyyy-mm-dd
year of emergence Year when adults emerged in the lab. Format yyyy
date of emergence Day of the control of emergence (everyday between 1 June and 30 September each year after sampling). Format yyyy-mm-dd
number of individuals emerged Number of adults emerged at the corresponding date
Data set name: 
Emergence data for site F781 (file name: SiteF_EmergenceData.csv)
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
site Site code, refers to Table 1
year of sampling Year when the caterpillars were sampled while in procession. Format yy
batch Unique batch identifier (1 batch = one group of caterpillars sampled at the same time from the same tree). The unique code is constructed as site-year-number
date of sampling Day when the caterpillars from the batch identified in the previous column were sampled and brought back to the lab. Format yyyy-mm-dd
year of emergence Year when adults emerged in the lab. Format yyyy
date of emergence Day of the control of emergence (everyday between 1 June and 30 September each year after sampling). Format yyyy-mm-dd
number of individuals emerged Number of adults emerged at the corresponding date
Data set name: 
Emergence data for site R923 (file name: SiteR_EmergenceData.csv)
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
site Site code, refers to Table 1
year of sampling Year when the caterpillars were sampled while in procession. Format yy
batch Unique batch identifier (1 batch = one group of caterpillars sampled at the same time from the same tree). The unique code is constructed as site-year-number
date of sampling Day when the caterpillars from the batch identified in the previous column were sampled and brought back to the lab. Format yyyy-mm-dd
year of emergence Year when adults emerged in the lab. Format yyyy
date of emergence Day of the control of emergence (everyday between 1 June and 30 September each year after sampling). Format yyyy-mm-dd
number of individuals emerged Number of adults emerged at the corresponding date

Additional information

We provide graphics showing the dynamics of adult emergence for each site and year, showing both individuals emerging without prolonged diapause (univoltine cycle) and those emerging after one or more years of optional prolonged diapause (semi-voltine cycle) (Suppl. materials 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

We also provide a table and a graph documenting for each site and year the numbers and percentage of individuals directly emerging and individuals experiencing one year or more of prolonged pupal diapause (Suppl. materials 7, 8).

Acknowledgements

This work was designed and developed by the late Dr Guy Démolin and his team of the INRA laboratory Unité de Recherches Forestières Méditerranéennes in Avignon and Station d'Ecologie du Mont-Ventoux, France. We are grateful to the numerous people from UEFM, Avignon, France, who helped to digitalise the data and made them available in numerical formats.

References

Supplementary materials

Suppl. material 1: Emergence curves for each cohort sampled in site G445 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Curves of daily adult emergence
Brief description: 

For each cohort (= individuals sampled the same year in the same site), the graph shows the dynamics of adult emergence. Dates of emergence are expressed as Julian days (1 January = 1 and 31 December = 365 or 366), so long-diapausing individuals are shown on the same graph in a different colour.

Suppl. material 2: Emergence curves for each cohort sampled in site C671 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Curves of daily adult emergence
Brief description: 

For each cohort (= individuals sampled the same year in the same site), the graph shows the dynamics of adult emergence. Dates of emergence are expressed as Julian days (1 January = 1 and 31 December = 365 or 366), so long-diapausing individuals are shown on the same graph in a different colour.

Suppl. material 3: Emergence curves for each cohort sampled in site A688 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Curves of daily adult emergence
Brief description: 

For each cohort (= individuals sampled the same year in the same site), the graph shows the dynamics of adult emergence. Dates of emergence are expressed as Julian days (1 January = 1 and 31 December = 365 or 366), so long-diapausing individuals are shown on the same graph in a different colour.

Suppl. material 4: Emergence curves for each cohort sampled in site B697 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Curves of daily adult emergence
Brief description: 

For each cohort (= individuals sampled the same year in the same site), the graph shows the dynamics of adult emergence. Dates of emergence are expressed as Julian days (1 January = 1 and 31 December = 365 or 366), so long-diapausing individuals are shown on the same graph in a different colour.

Suppl. material 5: Emergence curves for each cohort sampled in site F781 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Curves of daily adult emergence
Brief description: 

For each cohort (= individuals sampled the same year in the same site), the graph shows the dynamics of adult emergence. Dates of emergence are expressed as Julian days (1 January = 1 and 31 December = 365 or 366), so long-diapausing individuals are shown on the same graph in a different colour.

Suppl. material 6: Emergence curves for each cohort sampled in site R923 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Curves of daily adult emergence
Brief description: 

For each cohort (= individuals sampled the same year in the same site), the graph shows the dynamics of adult emergence. Dates of emergence are expressed as Julian days (1 January = 1 and 31 December = 365 or 366), so long-diapausing individuals are shown on the same graph in a different colour.

Suppl. material 7: Table showing the percentage of direct emergence and the percentage of individuals emerging after one or more years of prolonged diapause for each site and cohort 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Table (csv)
Brief description: 

For each site (G445, C671, A688, B697, F781, R923) and each sampling year, the Table shows how many individuals emerged directly (i.e. the same year) or after 1, 2, 3 or 4 years of prolonged diapause. The last column gives the corresponding percentages.

Suppl. material 8: Curves showing the percentage of individuals having experienced a prolonged diapause for each site and year 
Authors:  Martin J.-C., Rossi J.-P., Buradino M. & Kerdelhué C.
Data type:  Graph