In nature, many organisms alter their developmental trajectory in response to environmental variation. However, studies of thermal acclimation have historically involved stable, unrealistic thermal treatments. In our study, we incorporated ecologically relevant treatments to examine the effects of environmental stochasticity on the thermal acclimation of the fall field cricket (Gryllus pennsylvanicus). We raised crickets for 5 weeks at either a constant temperature (25°C) or at one of three thermal regimes mimicking a seasonal decline in temperature (from 25 to 12°C). The latter three treatments differed in their level of thermal stochasticity: crickets experienced either no diel cycle, a predictable diel cycle, or an unpredictable diel cycle. Following these treatments, we measured several traits considered relevant to survival or reproduction, including growth rate, jumping velocity, feeding rate, metabolic rate, and cold tolerance. Contrary to our predictions, the acclimatory responses of crickets were unrelated to the magnitude or type of thermal variation. Furthermore, acclimation of performance was not ubiquitous among traits. We recommend additional studies of acclimation in fluctuating environments to assess the generality of these findings.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology|
|State||Published - Feb 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology