Urban physiology

City ants possess high heat tolerance

Michael Angilletta, Robbie S. Wilson, Amanda C. Niehaus, Michael W. Sears, Carlos A. Navas, Pedro L. Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Urbanization has caused regional increases in temperature that exceed those measured on a global scale, leading to urban heat islands as much as 12°C hotter than their surroundings. Optimality models predict ectotherms in urban areas should tolerate heat better and cold worse than ectotherms in rural areas. We tested these predications by measuring heat and cold tolerances of leaf-cutter ants from South America's largest city (São Paulo, Brazil). Specifically, we compared thermal tolerances of ants from inside and outside of the city. Knock-down resistance and chill-coma recovery were used as indicators of heat and cold tolerances, respectively. Ants from within the city took 20% longer to lose mobility at 42°C than ants from outside the city. Interestingly, greater heat tolerance came at no obvious expense of cold tolerance; hence, our observations only partially support current theory. Our results indicate that thermal tolerances of some organisms can respond to rapid changes in climate. Predictive models should account for acclimatory and evolutionary responses during climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere258
JournalPLoS One
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ants
Physiology
heat tolerance
Formicidae
physiology
cold tolerance
Climate Change
Hot Temperature
climate change
pesticide resistance
coma
Chills
Urbanization
cutters
South America
Coma
urbanization
rural areas
urban areas
Brazil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Angilletta, M., Wilson, R. S., Niehaus, A. C., Sears, M. W., Navas, C. A., & Ribeiro, P. L. (2007). Urban physiology: City ants possess high heat tolerance. PLoS One, 2(2), [e258]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000258

Urban physiology : City ants possess high heat tolerance. / Angilletta, Michael; Wilson, Robbie S.; Niehaus, Amanda C.; Sears, Michael W.; Navas, Carlos A.; Ribeiro, Pedro L.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 2, No. 2, e258, 28.02.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Angilletta, M, Wilson, RS, Niehaus, AC, Sears, MW, Navas, CA & Ribeiro, PL 2007, 'Urban physiology: City ants possess high heat tolerance', PLoS One, vol. 2, no. 2, e258. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000258
Angilletta M, Wilson RS, Niehaus AC, Sears MW, Navas CA, Ribeiro PL. Urban physiology: City ants possess high heat tolerance. PLoS One. 2007 Feb 28;2(2). e258. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000258
Angilletta, Michael ; Wilson, Robbie S. ; Niehaus, Amanda C. ; Sears, Michael W. ; Navas, Carlos A. ; Ribeiro, Pedro L. / Urban physiology : City ants possess high heat tolerance. In: PLoS One. 2007 ; Vol. 2, No. 2.
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