Metabolic Constraints and Currencies in Animal Ecology
Phenotypic clines, energy balances and ecological responses to climate change
Article first published online: 10 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 83, Issue 1, pages 41–50, January 2014
How to Cite
Buckley, L. B., Nufio, C. R., Kingsolver, J. G. (2014), Phenotypic clines, energy balances and ecological responses to climate change. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83: 41–50. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12083
- Issue published online: 18 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 10 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 31 MAY 2012
- NSF. Grant Numbers: DEB-1120062, DEB-1543813, IOS-1120500
- biophysical model;
- energy budget;
- energy use and costs;
- metabolic rate;
- population dynamics;
- thermal tolerance
- The Metabolic Theory of Ecology has renewed interest in using energetics to scale across levels of ecological organization. Can scaling from individual phenotypes to population dynamics provides insight into why species have shifted their phenologies, abundances and distributions idiosyncratically in response to recent climate change?
- We consider how the energetic implications of phenotypes may scale to understand population and species level responses to climate change using four focal grasshopper species along an elevation gradient in Colorado. We use a biophysical model to translate phenotypes and environmental conditions into estimates of body temperatures. We measure thermal tolerances and preferences and metabolic rates to assess rates of energy use and acquisition.
- Body mass declines along the elevation gradient for all species, but mass-specific metabolic rates increases only modestly. We find interspecific differences in both overall thermal tolerances and preferences and in the variation of these metrics along the elevation gradient. The more dispersive species exhibit significantly higher thermal tolerance and preference consistent with much of their range spanning hot, low elevation areas. When integrating these metrics to consider metabolic constraints, we find that energetic costs decrease along the elevation gradient due to decreasing body size and temperature. Opportunities for energy acquisition, as reflected by the proportion of time that falls within a grasshopper's thermal tolerance range, peak at mid elevations. We discuss methods for translating these energetic metrics into population dynamics.
- Quantifying energy balances and allocation offers a viable approach for predicting how populations will respond to climate change and the consequences for species composed of populations that may be locally adapted.