Multidimensionality of thermal niches and its implications to
temperature changes responses: insights from dung beetles.
AbstractApproaching the consequences of climate change demands understanding how
temperature controls species' responses across key biological aspects,
as well as the coordination of thermal responses across these aspects.
We study the role of temperature in determining the species' diel,
seasonal, and geographical occurrence, using dung beetles as a model
system. We found that temperature has relatively low --but not
negligible-- effects in the three studied species' aspects, once
accounting for alternative factors. More importantly, the estimated
thermal niches were largely incongruent across aspects. This shows that
species have multidimensional thermal niches, entailing that adjustments
to fulfil temperature requirements for one biological aspect, such as
seasonal ontogenetic cycles, may result in detrimental effects on other
aspects, like diel activity. Paradoxically, the relatively weak effects
of temperature we found may have serious consequences for species'
responses to warming if temperature regulates essential aspects of
species' biology in divergent ways.