... Outback Sunset
Photo credit: Craig Franklin

Diving in a warming world: understanding the impacts of elevated temperatures on ectothermic dive capacity

Essie Rodgers, Daniel Noble and Craig Franklin

The Australian National University, Australia

Air-breathing, diving ectotherms are a crucial component of aquatic ecosystems, but the threat of climate warming is particularly salient to this group. Dive durations are inversely related to water temperature, and time available for obligate underwater activities, like foraging and predator avoidance, may be cut short as temperatures rise. We show how meta-analytics can be used to synthesise the effects of climate warming on the diving capacity of ectotherms. Effect sizes were extracted from published literature on a wide range of taxa, from newts to crocodilians, and the buffering role of potential safeguards (thermal acclimation, behavioural adjustments and range shifts) was also assessed. Together, these data shed light on a previously overlooked threat to diving ectotherms and offer predictions on how this group will fare in a warmer world.

 

Photo credit: Craig Franklin

 

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