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Photo credit: Craig Franklin

Insect responses to winter climate change: interactions between cold and energy stress

Caroline Williams

University of California, Berkeley, USA

Winter climate is changing more rapidly than summer climate, and these changes are driving shifts in the abundance and distributions of terrestrial insects. The two main stresses that insects encounter in winter are cold and energy stress. Untangling the interactions between these stresses promises to expand our understanding of how winter climate change is impacting insects that overwinter in cold environments. We are using willow leaf beetles (Chrysomela aeneicollis) to develop a mechanistic understanding of how cold and energy stress are altered by snow along an elevational gradient.

 

Hunting beetles in their riparian willow habitat in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Photo credit: Tony Huyhn

 

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