Journal article

Is temperature preference in the laboratory ecologically relevant for the field? The case of Drosophila nigrosparsa

Magdalena Tratter Kinzner, Martin-Carl Kinzner, Ruediger Kaufmann, Ary A Hoffmann, Wolfgang Arthofer, Birgit C Schlick-Steiner, Florian M Steiner



Ectotherms are sensitive to temperature change, and predictions about a species' vulnerability to thermal change require an understanding of its thermal responses. The preferred temperature in laboratory assays is a widely used measure commonly taken as an indicator of the temperature at which ectotherms' physiological functions are optimised. The ecological relevance of laboratory-measured temperature preference has been evaluated for vertebrate ectotherms but to our knowledge not for Drosophila. Here, we assessed the links between laboratory thermal preference and habitat temperature in the alpine fly Drosophila nigrosparsa. We found that (i)in the laboratory, D. nigrosparsa preferred a te..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Austrian Science Fund

Funding Acknowledgements

To C. Folterbauer and N. Medgyesy (University of Innsbruck) for technical assistance, to C. Decristoforo (Medical University of Innsbruck) for radiolabelling, to A. Plank and S. Schonhacker (Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior) for valuable discussion on experimental design and assistance in the field, to J. Zagajsek (Austrian Armed Forces) for fieldwork permission, to the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Municipal Fire Brigade Innsbruck, and the Firefighting Academy of Tyrol for provision of detection instruments, to I. S. and J. S. Schlick-Steiner, B. Thaler-Knoflach, and H. C. Wagner for assistance in the field; to Klaus Fischer and three anonymous reviewers for constructive criticism of an earlier version of the manuscript. This study was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (project number P 23949) awarded to FMS.