THERMAL BIOLOGY OF INVERTEBRATES: A HOT TOPIC
Andre Vosloo and Dalene Vosloo
University of KwaZulu Natal, School of Life Sciences

 

Abstract
Environmental temperature fluctuates as a function of localized and global processes. Except for a few specialized environments of constant temperatures, these fluctuations can be quite extreme, and can vary over different time-scales. Temperature sensitivity has long interested animal biologists in a broad range of fields, including ecologists, physiologists, biochemists and, more recently, molecular biologists. It is important that we understand the evolutionary adaptations that favour the survival of species A and those that limit survival of species B at the same temperature. These adaptations, as elucidated by the comparative approach, can be seen as evolutionary adaptations that determine current biogeographical distribution patterns of natural populations. In contrast to long-term evolutionary adaptations, thermal adaptation and acclimation operate at shorter (generational, seasonal, diurnal) time scales. The presentation will cover some salient events in our increased understanding of thermal biology generally, and specifically, as it pertains to marine invertebrates. Issues like thermal history, thermal plasticity, ontogenetic thermal specialization, cost of acclimation and population genetics are potential confounding factors that the aspiring thermal biologist needs to consider. The concept of oxygen limited thermal tolerance has become a model against which the capacity of ectotherms to deal with projected global climate change scenarios is being predicted. It is essential that biologists and decision makers become conversant with these issues in their future strategic planning.

 

Presentation Topic

THERMAL BIOLOGY OF INVERTEBRATES: A HOT TOPIC
Contact Mr Vosloo:

EmailĀ Andre Vosloo