A quick re-blog about a paper published on my research on damselflies. (Yes, I do study things other than Arctic mosquitoes.)
Previous studies have shown that warming temperatures make insects eat more and grow faster. In fact, scientists often measure the effects of temperature on insect growth to predict how climate change will affect their distribution and abundance.
However, a new study from Dartmouth College indicates that other factors — in this case, fear — play a role as well, and some can actually decrease the rate of growth.
“In other words, it’s less about temperature and more about the overall environmental conditions that shape the growth, survival, and distribution of insects,” said Lauren Culler, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Oecologia.
Culler and her colleagues looked at how fear, which typically lowers food consumption and growth rate, affects an insect’s response to warming temperatures. They brought damselfly nymphs into the lab and measured how much they ate and grew at different temperatures, and how…
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