3 years ago

Resolving biological impacts of multiple heat waves: interaction of hot and recovery days

Lin Wang, Chun-Sen Ma, Wei Zhang, Volker H. W. Rudolf
Heat waves are increasing with global warming and have more dramatic biological effects on organisms in natural and agricultural ecosystems than mean temperature increase. However, predicting the impact of future heat waves on organisms and ecosystems is challenging because we still have a limited understanding of how the different components that characterize heat waves interact. Here we take an experimental approach to examine the individual and combine consequences of two important features that characterize heat waves: duration of successive hot days and recovery days between two hot spells. Specifically we exposed individuals of a global agricultural pest, the aphid Sitobion avenae to different heat wave scenarios by factorially manipulating the number of extreme hot days versus normal days and altered which period individuals experienced first in their life cycle. We found that effects of heat waves were driven by a delicate balance of damage during hot periods versus repair during normal periods. Increasing the duration of hot days in heat waves had a negative effect on various demographic rates and life-time fitness of individuals, but magnitude of this effect was typically contingent on the temporal clustering of hot periods. Importantly, this interaction effect indicates that changes in the temporal distribution of extreme hot versus normal days can strongly alter the performance of organisms and dynamics of populations even when the total number of hot days during a given period remains unchanged. Together, these results emphasize the importance of accounting for the temporal distribution and quantitative patterns of extreme temperature events for predicting their consequences of natural and agricultural ecosystems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/oik.04699

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