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

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          Abstract

          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 Tb. 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 ontogeny, 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 overall goal is to explicitly examine the assumptions underlying the integration of TPCs with Tb , 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.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Ecol. Lett.
          Ecology letters
          Wiley-Blackwell
          1461-0248
          1461-023X
          Nov 2016
          : 19
          : 11
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. bsincla7@uwo.ca.
          [2 ] Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
          [3 ] School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
          [4 ] Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia.
          [5 ] Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
          [6 ] Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
          [7 ] State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.
          [8 ] Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Brunei Darussalam.
          [9 ] Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences and School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University Marine Science Center, Nahant, MA, USA.
          [10 ] Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
          Article
          10.1111/ele.12686
          27667778
          093c3a81-9c97-42ec-84fa-e8c40668c325
          History

          thermal performance,thermal variability,Body temperature,climate change,fitness

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