Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Variable temperatures leave insects with a frosty reception

30.11.2009
For the first time, scientists at The University of Western Ontario have shown that insects exposed to repeated periods of cold will trade reproduction for immediate survival.

The study, conducted by Biology PhD candidate Katie Marshall and supervisor Brent Sinclair, has been published online today by the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Results showed flies exposed to multiple bouts of cold survived better, but produced fewer offspring. Past research had demonstrated insects survive cold better if periodically exposed to warm conditions, which had led researchers to believe repeated cold exposures were better for insects than a prolonged cold exposure.

When Marshall and Sinclair tracked the number, sex and development time of offspring, however, they found that flies experiencing multiple cold exposures traded their future ability to reproduce for a chance at survival. In particular, cold-exposed flies produced fewer daughters, which is important because the number of female offspring limits the growth of a population much more than the number of male offspring.

“It is clear that, in nature, animals are exposed to thermal stress on a regular and repeated basis,” says Marshall. “Understanding the consequences of these repeated stresses is essential to interpreting and predicting climatic change effects in the natural world.”

Climate change in Ontario is expected to decrease the amount of snow cover, which insulates the ground and keeps soil temperatures from becoming too low. As such, insects will experience a greater number of low-temperature events throughout the winter.

“Insect populations have important effects on many aspects of human society,” says Marshall. “Pest species can harm crops and impact human health, while beneficial insects contribute to biodiversity and the control of pest species. If we understand the effects of temperature on insects, we can become better at predicting and responding to insect populations in a changing climate.”

Marshall plans to extend her work to see if repeated cold exposure has similar effects on forest and agricultural pests.

Katie Marshall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uwo.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>