Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

City Ants Take The Heat

Date:
February 28, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Most people remain unaware of the more rapid warming that has occurred within major cities. In fact, large cities can be more than 10 degrees hotter than their surroundings. These metropolitan hot spots, which scientists refer to as urban heat islands, can stress the animals and plants that make their home alongside humans. Until recently, biologists focused so much on the effects of global climate change, that they had overlooked the effects of urban warming.

While Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, has generated greater awareness of global warming, most people remain unaware of the more rapid warming that has occurred within major cities. In fact, large cities can be more than 10 degrees hotter than their surroundings. These metropolitan hot spots, which scientists refer to as urban heat islands, can stress the animals and plants that make their home alongside humans. Until recently, biologists had focused so much on the effects of global climate change, that they had overlooked the effects of urban warming.

Now, an international team of biologists, led by Michael Angilletta of Indiana State University, has shown that city animals have been affected by urban heat islands. These researchers discovered that ants within South America's largest city--São Paulo, Brazil--could tolerate heat better than ants from outside this city. Their findings, to be published in the online journal PLoS ONE, suggest that ants have adjusted their physiology in response to urban warming.

"We don't know whether this pattern will hold up for other species or other cities, but people should certainly be looking," said Angilletta, an Associate Professor of Ecology and Organismal Biology. "Ultimately, this research could help us to understand how species will respond to global climate change."

Working closely with geographers from Indiana State University's Center for Urban and Environmental Change, these biologists will soon determine whether urban warming has affected species in other major cities.

"We will quantify heat islands on the small scales that pertain to organisms, initially in Indianapolis and later in other major cities throughout the world," said Weng, an Associate Professor of Geography and Director of Indiana State's Center for Urban and Environmental Change.

"We will construct thermal maps using satellite images recorded over several years. These maps will enable us to assess the potential biological consequences of urban warming and identify suitable sites for future experiments," Weng said.

This study will be published on February 28, 2007 in PLoS ONE, the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication from the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

Citation: Angilletta MJ, Wilson RS, Niehaus AC, Sears MW, Navas CA, et al (2007) Urban Physiology: City Ants Possess High Heat Tolerance. PLoS ONE 2(2): e258. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000258 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000258 )


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "City Ants Take The Heat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228064855.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, February 28). City Ants Take The Heat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228064855.htm
Public Library of Science. "City Ants Take The Heat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228064855.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
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