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January American Naturalist highlights
Date:1/4/2008

ctions of statistical models. While all populations are predicted to shift northward in response to climate warming, the extent of the predicted northward shift depends on the lizards traits.

The research suggests that mechanistic modeling approaches that consider an animals biology will be essential to realistic predictions of how animals will respond to climate change. The research points to the importance of biological factors such as adaptation of physiology, interactions with other organisms, and movement limitations. Additional biologically-based approaches to predicting how animals will respond to climate change are urgently needed, noted Buckley. Without such approaches, we will likely be surprised by how the peculiarities of an animals biology influence its range shifts.


"Increased lifespan in a polyphenic butterfly artificially selected for starvation resistance"
Jeroen Pijpe, Paul M. Brakefield, and Bas J. Zwaan (Leiden University)

Why do some live longer than others?

In a recent article in The American Naturalist, researchers from Leiden University, the Netherlands, turned to tropical African butterflies to find the answer. The definitive answer is still not known, but our results give an interesting new insight into the evolution of lifespan, says Jeroen Pijpe, first author of the paper.

He and his colleagues used what is called artificial selection to create genetically long-lived butterflies of the species Bicyclus anynana. Basically, we use what the species does naturally, and magnify the bit were interested in here in the lab in Leiden. In the field, the temperature experienced by the caterpillar sets up the butterfly to become the form that matches the season. This is called phenotypic plasticity, and in this species it has evolved as a response to the alternating seasons. The dry season form is long-lived and more starvation resistant. In the wet season, reproduction takes p
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Contact: Rudy Faust
rfaust@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
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