Urban Physiology: City ants possess high heat tolerance

Angilletta, Michael J., Wilson, Robbie S., Niehaus, Amanda C., Sears, Michael W., Navas, Carlos A. and Ribeiro, Pedro L. (2007) Urban Physiology: City ants possess high heat tolerance. PLoS One, 2 2: e258.1-e258.4. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000258

Author Angilletta, Michael J.
Wilson, Robbie S.
Niehaus, Amanda C.
Sears, Michael W.
Navas, Carlos A.
Ribeiro, Pedro L.
Title Urban Physiology: City ants possess high heat tolerance
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2007
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0000258
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 2
Issue 2
Start page e258.1
End page e258.4
Total pages 4
Editor C. Surridge
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
270799 Ecology and Evolution not elsewhere classified
780105 Biological sciences
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.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number: e258

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Created: Thu, 08 May 2008, 12:27:41 EST by Sian Rodgie on behalf of Faculty of Science