Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insect Population Growth Likely Accelerated By Warmer Climate

Date:
October 31, 2006
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
New University of Washington research suggests insects' ability to adapt to warmer temperatures carries an unexpected consequence -- more insects.

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.

Related Articles


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.

The research was funded by grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Insect Population Growth Likely Accelerated By Warmer Climate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030143411.htm>.
University of Washington. (2006, October 31). Insect Population Growth Likely Accelerated By Warmer Climate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030143411.htm
University of Washington. "Insect Population Growth Likely Accelerated By Warmer Climate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030143411.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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