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Thermal tolerance and recovery behaviour of Thorectes lusitanicus (Coleoptera, Geotrupidae)

AuthorsGallego, Belén; Verdú, José R.; Carrascal, Luis M. ; Lobo, Jorge M.
KeywordsInsect physiology
Physiological diversity
Infrared thermography
Thermal tolerance
Issue DateDec-2017
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationEcological Entomology 42(6): 758-767 (2017)
Abstract1. Population differences in physiological responses are examined in Thorectes lusitanicus, an endemic Iberian dung beetle species, by submitting individuals of different populations to the same experimental and acclimation conditions. 2. An infrared thermography protocol was used, consisting of three assays: start of activity, cold response, and heat response. Individuals of 12 populations were studied and the comparative explanatory capacities of several environmental factors in relation to the observed inter-population differences were examined. 3. The heating rate from chill coma to the beginning of activity was the variable with the highest discrimination power among the studied populations, accounting for 94% of the observed variance. Regarding the heat response, only six of the 16 thermal variables reached significance (inter-population differences accounted for 52–74% in these six thermal parameters). 4. From the three considered environmental factors (Mediterranean climate, land cover, and trophic characteristics) only land cover characteristics remain statistically significant, affecting the cold response of individuals. 5. Thorectes lusitanicus is a species characterised by a high diversity of thermotolerance and recovery traits across populations with a low degree of association with broad environmental factors. Finally, it is suggested that the apterous character of this species could be a determinant factor explaining the high diversity of ecophysiological traits related to thermal stress tolerance and the recovery time.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/een.12447
issn: 1365-2311
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