Is thermal limitation the primary driver of elevational distributions? Not for montane rainforest ants in the Australian Wet Tropics

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dc.contributor.author Nowrouzi, Somayeh
dc.contributor.author Andersen, Alan N.
dc.contributor.author Bishop, Tom R.
dc.contributor.author Robson, Simon K. A.
dc.date.accessioned 2018-06-06T06:11:16Z
dc.date.issued 2018-10
dc.description.abstract Terrestrial ectotherms are likely to be especially sensitive to rising temperatures over coming decades. Thermal limits are used to measure climatic tolerances that potentially affect ectotherm distribution. While there is a strong relationship between the critical thermal maximum (CTmax) of insects and their latitudinal ranges, the nature of this relationship across elevation is less clear. Here we investigated the combined relationships between CTmax, elevation and ant body mass, given that CTmax can also be influenced by body mass, in the World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics. We measured the CTmax and body mass of 20 ant species across an elevational gradient from 350 to 1000 m a.s.l. Community CTmax did not vary systematically with increasing elevation and there was no correlation between elevation and elevational ranges of species. However, body mass significantly decreased at higher elevations. Despite the negative correlation between CTmax and body mass at the community level, there was no significant difference in CTmax of different-sized ants within a species. These findings are not consistent with either the climatic variability hypothesis, Rapoport’s rule or Bergmann’s rule. Models indicated that elevation and body mass had limited influences on CTmax. Our results suggest that the distribution of most montane ants in the region is not strongly driven by thermal limitation, and climate change will likely impact ant species differently. This is likely to occur primarily through changes in rainfall via its effects on vegetation structure and therefore thermal microhabitats, rather than through direct temperature changes. en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2019-10-01
dc.description.librarian hj2018 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship SN was supported by a Ph.D. scholarship from the National Environmental Research Program of Australian Government (James Cook University). en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://link.springer.com/journal/442 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Nowrouzi, S., Andersen, A.N., Bishop, T.R. et al. Is thermal limitation the primary driver of elevational distributions? Not for montane rainforest ants in the Australian Wet Tropics. Oecologia (2018) 188: 333-342. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-018-4154-y. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0029-8549 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1432-1939 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1007/s00442-018-4154-y
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/65104
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Springer en_ZA
dc.rights © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018. The original publication is available at : http://link.springer.comjournal/442 en_ZA
dc.subject Elevation gradient en_ZA
dc.subject Ectotherm en_ZA
dc.subject Body size en_ZA
dc.subject Climate change en_ZA
dc.subject Critical thermal maximum (CTmax) en_ZA
dc.subject Australian Wet Tropics (AWT)
dc.title Is thermal limitation the primary driver of elevational distributions? Not for montane rainforest ants in the Australian Wet Tropics en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA


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