Predicting the physiological performance of ectotherms in fluctuating thermal environments

Niehaus, Amanda C., Angilletta, Michael J., Sears, Michael W., Franklin, Craig E. and Wilson, Robbie S. (2012) Predicting the physiological performance of ectotherms in fluctuating thermal environments. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215 4: 694-701. doi:10.1242/jeb.058032

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Author Niehaus, Amanda C.
Angilletta, Michael J.
Sears, Michael W.
Franklin, Craig E.
Wilson, Robbie S.
Title Predicting the physiological performance of ectotherms in fluctuating thermal environments
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
Publication date 2012-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.058032
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 215
Issue 4
Start page 694
End page 701
Total pages 8
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Physiological ecologists have long sought to understand the plasticity of organisms in environments that vary widely among years, seasons and even hours. This is now even more important because human-induced climate change is predicted to affect both the mean and variability of the thermal environment. Although environmental change occurs ubiquitously, relatively few researchers have studied the effects of fluctuating environments on the performance of developing organisms. Even fewer have tried to validate a framework for predicting performance in fluctuating environments. Here, we determined whether reaction norms based on performance at constant temperatures (18, 22, 26, 30 and 34°C) could be used to predict embryonic and larval performance of anurans at fluctuating temperatures (18–28°C and 18–34°C). Based on existing theory, we generated hypotheses about the effects of stress and acclimation on the predictability of performance in variable environments. Our empirical models poorly predicted the performance of striped marsh frogs (Limnodynastes peronii) at fluctuating temperatures, suggesting that extrapolation from studies conducted under artificial thermal conditions would lead to erroneous conclusions. During the majority of ontogenetic stages, growth and development in variable environments proceeded more rapidly than expected, suggesting that acute exposures to extreme temperatures enable greater performance than do chronic exposures. Consistent with theory, we predicted performance more accurately for the less variable thermal environment. Our results underscore the need to measure physiological performance under naturalistic thermal conditions when testing hypotheses about thermal plasticity or when parameterizing models of life-history evolution.
Keyword Acclimation
Reaction norm
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 60 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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