Cold blooded animals, or ectotherms, do not have an internal mechanism for regulating body temperature. Instead, they rely on solar energy captured by the environment.
The purpose of the Mercyhurst study, a collaboration of Michael Elnitsky, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology; and students Drew Spacht and Seth Pezar, is to assess the current and future impacts of climate change on the overwintering energetics and microenvironmental conditions of the goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis). Larvae of the goldenrod gall fly have long served as model organisms for studying the strategies used by freeze-tolerant animals for winter survival.
“We used historical temperature data to estimate the overwintering (November through March) energy use of larval gall flies,” Elnitsky said. “Based upon the relationship between metabolic rate and temperature, the estimated energy utilization during winter has increased by more than 30 percent over the last 50 years.”
Further, with continued climate change, each additional 1̊-degree C rise in temperature during winter is projected to increase energy use by 12 percent. The consequence of this is that the amount of energy remaining at winter’s end directly determines how many offspring the goldenrod gall fly can produce.
“Unlike some other insects that are benefitting from a changing climate, goldenrod gall fly populations would be predicted to decline,” Elnitsky said.
The research team has begun similar assessments of the impacts of a changing winter climate for other arthropods, such as deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) that transmit Lyme disease bacteria and the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), an invasive insect destroying hemlock forests throughout the eastern U.S.
The Mercyhurst group presented their research at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) in Knoxville, Tenn., last month. Spacht of Erie and Pezar of Madison, Ohio, were awarded the President’s Prize in the Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology section for their poster presentation. The President's Prize is the award given to the top undergraduate presentation in each section at the conference, which was attended by more than 4,000 scholars.
Also at the conference, Chris Strohm, a 2011 Mercyhurst biology graduate and currently a graduate student in entomology at the University of Kentucky, was awarded second place among graduate students in the Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity section.
Debbie Morton | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy