Blog
About

149
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: not found
      • Article: not found

      Climate change and the effects of temperature extremes on Australian flying-foxes

      1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

      Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

      The Royal Society

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPMC
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Little is known about the effects of temperature extremes on natural systems. This is of increasing concern now that climate models predict dramatic increases in the intensity, duration and frequency of such extremes. Here we examine the effects of temperature extremes on behaviour and demography of vulnerable wild flying-foxes (Pteropus spp.). On 12 January 2002 in New South Wales, Australia, temperatures exceeding 42 degrees C killed over 3500 individuals in nine mixed-species colonies. In one colony, we recorded a predictable sequence of thermoregulatory behaviours (wing-fanning, shade-seeking, panting and saliva-spreading, respectively) and witnessed how 5-6% of bats died from hyperthermia. Mortality was greater among the tropical black flying-fox, Pteropus alecto (10-13%) than the temperate grey-headed flying-fox, Pteropus poliocephalus (less than 1%), and young and adult females were more affected than adult males (young, 23-49%; females, 10-15%; males, less than 3%). Since 1994, over 30000 flying-foxes (including at least 24500 P. poliocephalus) were killed during 19 similar events. Although P. alecto was relatively less affected, it is currently expanding its range into the more variable temperature envelope of P. poliocephalus, which increases the likelihood of die-offs occurring in this species. Temperature extremes are important additional threats to Australian flying-foxes and the ecosystem services they provide, and we recommend close monitoring of colonies where temperatures exceeding 42.0 degrees C are predicted. The effects of temperature extremes on flying-foxes highlight the complex implications of climate change for behaviour, demography and species survival.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 17

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Gene flow and the limits to natural selection

           T Lenormand (2002)
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Observed Variability and Trends in Extreme Climate Events: A Brief Review*

              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
              • Article: not found

              Impacts of Extreme Weather and Climate on Terrestrial Biota*

                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                Proc. R. Soc. B
                The Royal Society
                0962-8452
                1471-2954
                December 05 2007
                February 22 2008
                November 28 2007
                February 22 2008
                : 275
                : 1633
                : 419-425
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Zoology, University of CambridgeCambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
                [2 ]Institute of Experimental Ecology, University of Ulm89069 Ulm, Germany
                [3 ]School of Integrative Biology, University of QueenslandBrisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
                [4 ]WWF Australia, UltimoNew South Wales 2007, Australia
                [5 ]Department of Ecosystem Management, University of New EnglandArmidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia
                Article
                10.1098/rspb.2007.1385
                2596826
                18048286
                © 2008

                Comments

                Comment on this article