Constant and fluctuating temperature acclimations have similar effects on phenotypic plasticity in springtails

Jessica L. Hoskins, Charlene Janion-Scheepers, Elise Ireland, Keyne Monro, Steven L. Chown

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Much interest exists in the extent to which constant versus fluctuating temperatures affect thermal performance traits and their phenotypic plasticity. Theory suggests that effects should vary with temperature, being especially pronounced at more extreme low (because of thermal respite) and high (because of Jensen's inequality) temperatures. Here we tested this idea by examining the effects of constant temperatures (10 to 30 °C in 5 °C increments) and fluctuating temperatures (means equal to the constant temperatures, but with fluctuations of ±5 °C) temperatures on the adult (F2) phenotypic plasticity of three thermal performance traits – critical thermal minimum (CTmin), critical thermal maximum (CTmax), and upper lethal temperature (ULT50) in ten species of springtails (Collembola) from three families (Isotomidae 7 spp.; Entomobryidae 2 spp.; Onychiuridae 1 sp.). The lowest mean CTmin value recorded here was -3.56 ± 1.0 °C for Paristoma notabilis and the highest mean CTmax was 43.1 ± 0.8 °C for Hemisotoma thermophila. The Acclimation Response Ratio for CTmin was on average 0.12 °C/°C (range: 0.04 to 0.21 °C/°C), but was much lower for CTmax (mean: 0.017 °C/°C, range: -0.015 to 0.047 °C/°C) and lower also for ULT50 (mean: 0.05 °C/°C, range: -0.007 to 0.14 °C/°C). Fluctuating versus constant temperatures typically had little effect on adult phenotypic plasticity, with effect sizes either no different from zero, or inconsistent in the direction of difference. Previous work assessing adult phenotypic plasticity of these thermal performance traits across a range of constant temperatures can thus be applied to a broader range of circumstances in springtails.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102690
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Critical thermal limits
  • Field temperatures
  • Fluctuating temperatures
  • Soil animals
  • Temperate Australia
  • Thermal tolerance

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