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The effect of expected climate change on insect performance: physiology, behavior and life history

The effect of expected climate change on insect performance: physiology, behavior and life history


Climate change has been already affecting many living organisms. The effects are triggered not only by global warming but also by increasing frequencies of rare events and variance of environmental traits. While most studies report on consequences of temperature increase, the effect of the increase in variance is neglected. Moreover, the response to climate change interacts with the response to other environmental traits, such as relative humidity and precipitation levels, and other potential sources of stress, such as intra-specific competition and available resources. The proposed project aims at understanding: (1) How should an increase in the variance of climate traits affect insects’ phenotype, fitness and performance? (2) What are the costs of facing unfavorable climate and acclimation to such climate? (3) What is the effect of facing various stressors, such as strong competition or frequent mating, simultaneously with unfavorable climate? (4) Is body size correlated with climate change and longevity? Additionally, I am interested in the effect of climate change on ageing and life-time performance of insects, and the association between these important fields has been rarely studied before. As a model organism, I intend to use the system of a Sepsid dung fly, which has a short generation time and is easily kept in the lab. The proposal is of broad perspective, as it combines short- and long-term experiments (experimental evolution), as well as a literature review and research using the large insect collection of my department. The proposal has both pure scientific merit, learning how insects respond to climate under conflicting demands, and a more applied aspect, predicting possible responses of insects to on-going climate change. The response variables I intend to test are diverse, including, behavioral, morphological, physiological and life-history traits, enabling me to suggest possible mechanisms for life-history consequences of climate change.
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Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 100 000

Administrative Contact

Lea Pais (Ms.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 333442


Closed project

  • Start date

    1 March 2013

  • End date

    28 February 2017

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 100 000

  • EU contribution

    € 100 000

Coordinated by: