Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Insect population growth likely accelerated by warmer climate

01.11.2006
Insects have proven to be highly adaptable organisms, able through evolution to cope with a variety of environmental changes, including relatively recent changes in the world's climate.

But like something out of a scary Halloween tale, new University of Washington research suggests insects' ability to adapt to warmer temperatures carries an unexpected consequence – more insects.

It appears that insect species that adapt to warmer climates also will increase their maximum rates of population growth, which UW researchers say is likely to have widespread affects on agriculture, public health and conservation.

Many studies have shown that insects readily adapt to the temperature of their environment. For example, those living in deserts easily tolerate high temperatures but are much less tolerant of cold temperatures than insects living in mountains. Now UW biology researchers have found that insect species that have adapted to warmer environments also have faster population growth rates. The research shows, in effect, that "warmer is better" for insects, said Melanie Frazier, a UW biology doctoral student.

"Enhanced population growth rates for butterflies might be a good thing, but enhanced growth rates for mosquito populations is much more dubious," said Frazier, who is lead author of the new research, published in the October edition of the journal The American Naturalist.

Co-authors are Raymond Huey, a UW biology professor, and David Berrigan, a former UW biology researcher now with the National Cancer Institute.

The findings suggest that evolutionary adaptation to climate warming will have profound ecological effects because rates of population growth eventually will alter entire ecosystems, Frazier said. In addition, key ecosystem characteristics such as species diversity and food webs are very sensitive to the population growth rates of the species living and interacting in those ecosystems.

She noted that biochemical adaptation to warmer temperature is not the only possible insect response to climate warming. Some species might evade warmer temperatures by moving to cooler habitats, or they might alter their seasonal activity patterns. Others might not be able to adapt adequately and could become extinct. But those that do adapt should have elevated rates of population growth.

"No matter which scenario plays out for a given species, local ecosystems will be profoundly altered," Frazier said.

Vince Stricherz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

nachricht From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electronic evidence of non-Fermi liquid behaviors in an iron-based superconductor

11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Topological material switched off and on for the first time

11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs

11.12.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>