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Thermal tolerance of tropical Lepidoptera

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Climate changes represent one of the major causes of global biodiversity decline with species attrition and plausible dramatic scenarios for terrestrial biodiversity concentrated in the tropics. Extreme droughts and disruption in rainfall have been affecting species composition and productivity among multiple organisms. However, we still have little understanding of the effects of climate changes on terrestrial organisms responsible for the maintenance of crucial ecosystem services, such as insect herbivores.

Our main objective seeks to understand the multiple responses of tropical Lepidoptera to ongoing and predicted climate changes. We predict contrasting changes in ten phylogenetically and ecologically Lepidoptera taxa and study their past and future directional responses to extreme events of climate that occurred during 2009-2020. We will compare species responses using three different analytical approaches and models to explore the best choice of target model species for monitoring programs and studies of climate change. Our study system also includes reproducible field protocols, laboratory experiments (thermal and desiccation tolerance) and data modelling.


Greg Lamarre

Benita Laird-Hopkins

Key publication:

Lamarre, G.P.A., Fayle T.M., Segar, S.T., Laird-Hopkins, B., Nakamura, A., Souto-Vilarós,D.,  Watanabe, S. & Basset, Y. 2020. Monitoring tropical insects in the 21st century. Advances in Ecological Research, 62, 295-330.
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