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      The costs of keeping cool in a warming world: implications of high temperatures for foraging, thermoregulation and body condition of an arid-zone bird

      , , , ,
      Global Change Biology
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          The potential for behavioral thermoregulation to buffer "cold-blooded" animals against climate warming.

          Increasing concern about the impacts of global warming on biodiversity has stimulated extensive discussion, but methods to translate broad-scale shifts in climate into direct impacts on living animals remain simplistic. A key missing element from models of climatic change impacts on animals is the buffering influence of behavioral thermoregulation. Here, we show how behavioral and mass/energy balance models can be combined with spatial data on climate, topography, and vegetation to predict impacts of increased air temperature on thermoregulating ectotherms such as reptiles and insects (a large portion of global biodiversity). We show that for most "cold-blooded" terrestrial animals, the primary thermal challenge is not to attain high body temperatures (although this is important in temperate environments) but to stay cool (particularly in tropical and desert areas, where ectotherm biodiversity is greatest). The impact of climate warming on thermoregulating ectotherms will depend critically on how changes in vegetation cover alter the availability of shade as well as the animals' capacities to alter their seasonal timing of activity and reproduction. Warmer environments also may increase maintenance energy costs while simultaneously constraining activity time, putting pressure on mass and energy budgets. Energy- and mass-balance models provide a general method to integrate the complexity of these direct interactions between organisms and climate into spatial predictions of the impact of climate change on biodiversity. This methodology allows quantitative organism- and habitat-specific assessments of climate change impacts.
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            Thermal adaptation in biological membranes: is homeoviscous adaptation the explanation?

            J R Hazel (1995)
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              Climate change increases the likelihood of catastrophic avian mortality events during extreme heat waves.

              Severe heat waves have occasionally led to catastrophic avian mortality in hot desert environments. Climate change models predict increases in the intensity, frequency and duration of heat waves. A model of avian evaporative water requirements and survival times during the hottest part of day reveals that the predicted increases in maximum air temperatures will result in large fractional increases in water requirements (in small birds, equivalent to 150-200 % of current values), which will severely reduce survival times during extremely hot weather. By the 2080s, desert birds will experience reduced survival times much more frequently during mid-summer, increasing the frequency of catastrophic mortality events.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Global Change Biology
                Glob Change Biol
                Wiley-Blackwell
                13541013
                October 2012
                October 2012
                : 18
                : 10
                : 3063-3070
                Article
                10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02778.x
                28741828
                a03b305b-b381-4477-95de-7ff5bd57a6c5
                © 2012

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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