The effect of temperature on the physiological and behavioural responses of Collembola

2019-10-15T03:12:13Z (GMT) by Aleksandra Kovacevic
Warming global temperatures are accompanied by larger, more frequent thermal extremes and by drought. How soil animals respond is poorly known, even though they are essential for supporting ecosystems. This work, on springtails – important soil animals – shows that just how fast warming takes place is critical for heat tolerance. Slow rates do not necessarily result in better survival. Behavioural avoidance is also important – animals showing the lowest temperature tolerances prefer the deepest habitats. Rising thermal extremes and droughts will have negative impacts on soil animals, which they can avoid in the short term, but not in an expected hot future.