Temperature variation makes ectotherms more sensitive to climate change

Krijn Paaijmans, Rebecca L. Heinig, Rebecca A. Seliga, Justine I. Blanford, Simon Blanford, Courtney C. Murdock, Matthew B. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

165 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ectotherms are considered to be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. Descriptions of habitat temperatures and predicted changes in climate usually consider mean monthly, seasonal or annual conditions. Ectotherms, however, do not simply experience mean conditions, but are exposed to daily fluctuations in habitat temperatures. Here, we highlight how temperature fluctuation can generate 'realized' thermal reaction (fitness) norms that differ from the 'fundamental' norms derived under standard constant temperatures. Using a mosquito as a model organism, we find that temperature fluctuation reduces rate processes such as development under warm conditions, increases processes under cool conditions, and reduces both the optimum and the critical maximum temperature. Generalizing these effects for a range of terrestrial insects reveals that prevailing daily fluctuations in temperature should alter the sensitivity of species to climate warming by reducing 'thermal safety margins'. Such effects of daily temperature dynamics have generally been ignored in the climate change literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2373-2380
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Climate change
climate change
temperature
Temperature
climate
warming
habitat
mosquito
fitness
insect
safety

Keywords

  • Anopheles stephensi
  • Climate change
  • Conservation
  • Diurnal temperature fluctuation
  • Ectotherm fitness
  • Jensen's inequality
  • Thermal fitness curve
  • Thermal reaction norm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Paaijmans, K., Heinig, R. L., Seliga, R. A., Blanford, J. I., Blanford, S., Murdock, C. C., & Thomas, M. B. (2013). Temperature variation makes ectotherms more sensitive to climate change. Global Change Biology, 19(8), 2373-2380. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12240

Temperature variation makes ectotherms more sensitive to climate change. / Paaijmans, Krijn; Heinig, Rebecca L.; Seliga, Rebecca A.; Blanford, Justine I.; Blanford, Simon; Murdock, Courtney C.; Thomas, Matthew B.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, No. 8, 01.08.2013, p. 2373-2380.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Paaijmans, K, Heinig, RL, Seliga, RA, Blanford, JI, Blanford, S, Murdock, CC & Thomas, MB 2013, 'Temperature variation makes ectotherms more sensitive to climate change', Global Change Biology, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 2373-2380. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12240
Paaijmans K, Heinig RL, Seliga RA, Blanford JI, Blanford S, Murdock CC et al. Temperature variation makes ectotherms more sensitive to climate change. Global Change Biology. 2013 Aug 1;19(8):2373-2380. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12240
Paaijmans, Krijn ; Heinig, Rebecca L. ; Seliga, Rebecca A. ; Blanford, Justine I. ; Blanford, Simon ; Murdock, Courtney C. ; Thomas, Matthew B. / Temperature variation makes ectotherms more sensitive to climate change. In: Global Change Biology. 2013 ; Vol. 19, No. 8. pp. 2373-2380.
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