Night warming on hot days produces novel impacts on development, survival and reproduction in a small arthropod

Authors

  • Fei Zhao,

    1. Climate Change Biology Research Group, State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. Laboratory for Integrated Pest Management of Insect, Institute of Plant Protection, Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Taiyuan, China
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  • Wei Zhang,

    1. Climate Change Biology Research Group, State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Ary A. Hoffmann,

    1. Pest and Disease Vector Group, Departments of Zoology and Genetics, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia
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  • Chun-Sen Ma

    Corresponding author
    1. Climate Change Biology Research Group, State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
    Current affiliation:
    1. Haidian District, Beijing, China
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Summary

  1. An asymmetric increase in night-time temperatures (NTs) on hot days is one of the main features of global climate change. But the biological effects of an increased night-time temperature combined with high daytime temperature are unclear.

  2. We used six thermal regimens to simulate NTs on hot days and investigated the effects of night warming on life-history traits of the English grain aphid Sitobion avenae. Experimental temperatures fluctuated in continuous diurnal cycles, increasing from 27 °C to a maximum 35 °C and then declining to 27 °C gradually before further dropping to different minima (13, 16, 19, 21, 23 or 25 °C) representing NTs.

  3. When compared to expectations based on constant temperatures, night warming raised the optimum temperature for development by 3 °C, in contrast to results from experiments where temperature variability was altered symmetrically or in a parallel manner. Night warming also reduced aphid survival under heat from 75% to 37% and depressed adult performance by up to 50%. Overall, night warming exacerbated the detrimental effects of hot days on the intrinsic rate of population increase, which was predicted to drop by 30% when night-time minimum temperatures exceeded 20 °C.

  4. Our novel findings on development challenge the ‘Kaufmann effect’, suggesting this is inapplicable to night warming likely to be encountered in nature. Although many average temperature models predict increasing pest outbreaks, our results suggest that outbreaks of some species might decrease due to the effects of night warming on population dynamics.

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