Can we predict ectotherm responses to climate change using thermal performance curves and body temperatures?

Sinclair, Brent J. and Marshall, Katie E. and Sewell, Mary A. and Levesque, Danielle L. and Willett, Christopher S. and Slotsbo, Stine and Yunwei, Dong and Harley, Christopher D. G. and Marshall, David J. and Helmuth, Brian S. and Huey, Raymond B. (2016) Can we predict ectotherm responses to climate change using thermal performance curves and body temperatures? Ecology Letters. ISSN 1461-0248

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Thermal performance curves (TPCs), which quantify how an ectotherm’s body temperature (Tb ) affects its performance or fitness, are often used in an attempt to predict organismal responses to climate change. Here, we examine the key – but often biologically unreasonable – assumptions underlying this approach; for example, that physiology and thermal regimes are invariant over ontogeny, space and time, and also that TPCs are independent of previously experienced T b. We show how a critical consideration of these assumptions can lead to biologically useful hypotheses and experimental designs. For example, rather than assuming that TPCs are fixed during onto- geny, one can measure TPCs for each major life stage and incorporate these into stage-specific ecological models to reveal the life stage most likely to be vulnerable to climate change. Our over- all goal is to explicitly examine the assumptions underlying the integration of TPCs with T b ,to develop a framework within which empiricists can place their work within these limitations, and to facilitate the application of thermal physiology to understanding the biological implications of climate change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body temperature, climate change, fitness, thermal performance, thermal variability, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 06:51
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 06:59

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