Relationship between the minimum and maximum temperature thresholds for development in insects

Authors

  • Anthony F.G. Dixon,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Systems Biology & Ecology AS CR, Na sadkach 7, 37005 Ceske Budejouice, Czech Republic;
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  • Alois Honěk,

    1. Research Institute of Crop Production, Drnovská 507, CZ 161 06 Prague 6 – Ruzyně, the Czech Republic;
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  • Petr Keil,

    1. Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, CZ 128 44 Prague 2, the Czech Republic;
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  • Mohamed Ali A. Kotela,

    1. Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, CZ 128 44 Prague 2, the Czech Republic;
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  • Arnošt L. Šizling,

    1. Biodiversity & Macroecology Group, Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK;
    2. Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic; and
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  • Vojtěch Jarošík

    1. Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, CZ 128 44 Prague 2, the Czech Republic;
    2. Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ 252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic
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*Correspondence author. E-mail: a.f.dixon@uea.ac.uk

Summary

  • 1The objective of this study was to test the theoretical prediction that the thermal tolerance range for development in insects should be about 20 °C.
  • 2The data on the thermal requirements for development of 66 species from eight orders of insects was obtained from the literature. The temperatures at which the developmental rates are at their minimum and maximum was obtained for each population by defining the relationship between developmental rate (1/D) and temperature, using either Lactin et al.'s (1995) or Briére et al.'s (1999) model.
  • 3Thermal windows, i.e. the range in temperature between the minimum and maximum rate of development for individual species, and the relationship between the minimum and maximum temperatures, were examined.
  • 4The mean thermal window, 19·8 °C with 95% confidence interval 19·1–20·5 and range 13·3−28·6, was influenced by species phylogeny, with the windows narrower for species having a true pupal stage, but not by ecological traits thought to affect species thermal requirements. The relationship between the minimum and maximum temperatures was highly significant and independent of species phylogeny.
  • 5Theory and this analysis of empirical data indicate that each species of insect can only develop over a limited range of temperatures independent of species traits. In addition, the relationship between the minimum and maximum developmental rates co-vary independent of species phylogeny. This may help identify the precise nature of the physiological mechanism underlying the seasonal development and distribution of insects, and possibly other ectotherms.

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