Major Patterns of Body Size Variation within Arthropod Species: Exploring the Impact of Habitat, Temperature, Latitude, Seasonality and Altitude
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Body size affects rates of most biological and ecological processes, from individual performance to ecosystem function. Within species, emergent body size patterns have been formalised into prominent biogeographical and biological rules, including James’ Rule (larger individuals are found at higher, colder latitudes), and the Temperature-Size Rule (individuals reared in warmer conditions grow to a smaller adult size). Body size also varies seasonally and with altitude. Yet, the patterns and drivers of these size gradients, and the degree to which they co-vary and share explanatory mechanisms, have never been systematically evaluated. We undertake the most comprehensive metaanalyses to date of temperature- and biogeographical-size clines within arthropod species. Aquatic species show greater reductions in body size with warming and decreasing latitude compared to terrestrial species, likely an adaptive response to deal with increased metabolic demand in the warm and the greater difficulty to uptake oxygen in water than in air. Voltinism explains variation in laboratory temperature- and latitudinal-size clines in terrestrial species. While size decreases with warming and with decreasing latitude in multivoltine terrestrial arthropods, size increases on average in univoltine species, consistent with predictions from size vs. season-length trade-offs. In the globally distributed sub-class Copepoda, seasonal temperature-size (T-S) gradients differ between current-feeding calanoids and ambush-feeding cyclopoids, suggesting that differences in the size- and temperature-dependence of alternative feeding strategies may influence the T-S response. Finally, through experimentation, we explore the progression of the T-S response of Copepoda during ontogeny. The T-S response is more strongly generated in particular life stages, and even reduced in some periods, providing evidence that the temperature-dependence of growth and developmental rates is modified during ontogeny. Ultimately, close similarities between T-S responses measured in controlled laboratory conditions, and seasonal and biogeographical size clines in the field across different arthropod taxa, suggests that these patterns share similar selective pressures.
AuthorsHorne, Curtis Robert
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