Potential Effects of Global Warming on the Distribution of a Temperate Univoltine Insect

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Poleward migration to remain within temperature tolerance ranges as the earth warms poses a problem for species with limited dispersal abilities. The life cycle of a typical temperate univoltine insect, Tenodera sinensis (Mantodea: Mantidae), is constrained by degree-days per season: too few prevent maturation before killing frost in the fall; too many allow egg hatch prior to killing frost. We combined field observations of dispersal ability with laboratory measurements of the relationship between temperature and maturation rate, and applied these to a global warming model to predict the effect of climate change on regional distribution of this insect by 2100 A.D. Based on the simplified biological assumptions of our model, T, sinensis would be reduced to local populations in the northern portions and higher elevations of its present broadly contiguous range, and species with similar life histories may face regional or total extinction.


Presented at the 78th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

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