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Biol Lett. 2017 Jun;13(6). pii: 20170125. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0125.

Physiological thermal limits predict differential responses of bees to urban heat-island effects.

Author information

1
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7613, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.
2
Department of Entomology, Center for Pollinator Research, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
3
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7613, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA sdfrank@ncsu.edu.

Abstract

Changes in community composition are an important, but hard to predict, effect of climate change. Here, we use a wild-bee study system to test the ability of critical thermal maxima (CTmax, a measure of heat tolerance) to predict community responses to urban heat-island effects in Raleigh, NC, USA. Among 15 focal species, CTmax ranged from 44.6 to 51.3°C, and was strongly predictive of population responses to urban warming across 18 study sites (r2 = 0.44). Species with low CTmax declined the most. After phylogenetic correction, solitary species and cavity-nesting species (bumblebees) had the lowest CTmax, suggesting that these groups may be most sensitive to climate change. Community responses to urban and global warming will likely retain strong physiological signal, even after decades of warming during which time lags and interspecific interactions could modulate direct effects of temperature.

KEYWORDS:

bee; climate change; critical thermal maximum; heat tolerance; pollinator; urban warming

PMID:
28637837
PMCID:
PMC5493736
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2017.0125
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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