Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

City ants take the heat

28.02.2007
The following press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS ONE. The release has been provided by the article authors and/or their institutions. Any opinions expressed in this are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.

While Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, has generated greater awareness of global warming, most people remain unaware of the more rapid warming that has occurred within major cities. In fact, large cities can be more than 10 degrees hotter than their surroundings. These metropolitan hot spots, which scientists refer to as urban heat islands, can stress the animals and plants that make their home alongside humans. Until recently, biologists had focused so much on the effects of global climate change, that they had overlooked the effects of urban warming.

Now, an international team of biologists, led by Michael Angilletta of Indiana State University, has shown that city animals have been affected by urban heat islands. These researchers discovered that ants within South America’s largest city—São Paulo, Brazil—could tolerate heat better than ants from outside this city. Their findings, to be published in the online journal PLoS ONE, suggest that ants have adjusted their physiology in response to urban warming.

“We don’t know whether this pattern will hold up for other species or other cities, but people should certainly be looking,” said Angilletta, an Associate Professor of Ecology and Organismal Biology. “Ultimately, this research could help us to understand how species will respond to global climate change.”

Working closely with geographers from Indiana State University’s Center for Urban and Environmental Change, these biologists will soon determine whether urban warming has affected species in other major cities.

“We will quantify heat islands on the small scales that pertain to organisms, initially in Indianapolis and later in other major cities throughout the world,” said Weng, an Associate Professor of Geography and Director of Indiana State’s Center for Urban and Environmental Change.

”We will construct thermal maps using satellite images recorded over several years. These maps will enable us to assess the potential biological consequences of urban warming and identify suitable sites for future experiments,” Weng said.

This study will be published on February 28, 2007 in PLoS ONE, the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication from the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

CONTACT:
Michael Angilletta
Associate Professor of Ecology and Organismal Biology
Indiana State University
Email: mangilletta@isugw.indstate.edu
Qihao Weng
Associate Professor of Geography
Indiana State University
Email: qweng@qweng@isugw.indstate.edu
Citation: Angilletta MJ, Wilson RS, Niehaus AC, Sears MW, Navas CA, et al (2007) Urban Physiology: City Ants Possess High Heat Tolerance. PLoS ONE 2(2): e258. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000258

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosone.org
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000258

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>