Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Study Explains Why Hotter Is Better For Insects

Date:
October 3, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Organisms have been able to adapt to environments ranging from cold polar oceans to hot thermal vents. However, University of Washington researchers have discovered a limit to the powerful forces of natural selection, at least when it comes to the adaptation of insects to cold temperatures.

Organisms have been able to adapt to environments ranging from cold polar oceans to hot thermal vents. However, University of Washington researchers have discovered a limit to the powerful forces of natural selection, at least when it comes to the adaptation of insects to cold temperatures.

"For thermodynamic reasons, cold temperatures present a challenging problem for ectothermic [cold-blooded] organisms because they slow biological processes, thus reducing rates of movement, feeding, and population growth," explains author M. R. Frazier.

Many researchers believe that biochemical adaptations can eventually compensate for the effects of low body temperatures, but Frazier and his colleague's recent thermodynamic model, forthcoming in the October issue of The American Naturalist, argues against such compensation.

To address this controversy, the researchers conducted a comparative analysis of published data on the thermal dependence of population growth rate for 65 insect species. They found that insects adapted to cold environments have slower maximum population growth rates than those adapted to warm environments, despite their long evolutionary history in such environments.

"At least with respect to insect population growth rates," says Frazier, "our data suggest that hotter is better. We see little evidence of evolutionary compensation."

This research suggests that adaptation to warmer or to colder temperature inevitably alters the population dynamics of insects, a result that has important consequences for agriculture, public health, and conservation.

Founded in 1867, The American Naturalist is one of the world's most renowned, peer-reviewed publications in ecology, evolution, and population and integrative biology research. AN emphasizes sophisticated methodologies and innovative theoretical syntheses--all in an effort to advance the knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles.

M. R. Frazier, R.B. Huey, and D. Berrigan, "Thermodynamics constrains the evolution of insect population growth rates." The American Naturalist 167:10.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "New Study Explains Why Hotter Is Better For Insects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002214840.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, October 3). New Study Explains Why Hotter Is Better For Insects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002214840.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "New Study Explains Why Hotter Is Better For Insects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002214840.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins