Phenotypic plasticity and geographic variation in thermal tolerance and water loss of the tsetse Glossina pallidipes (Diptera: Glossinidae): Implications for distribution modelling

John S. Terblanche, C. Jaco Klok, Elliot S. Krafsur, Steven L. Chown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using the tsetse, Glossina pallidipes, we show that physiologic plasticity (resulting from temperature acclimation) accounts for among-population variation in thermal tolerance and water loss rates. Critical thermal minimum (CT Min) was highly variable among populations, seasons, and acclimation treatments, and the full range of variation was 9.3°C (maximum value = 3.1 x minimum). Water loss rate showed similar variation (max = 3.7 x min). In contrast, critical thermal maxima (CTMax) varied least among populations, seasons, and acclimation treatments, and the full range of variation was only approximately 1°C. Most of the variation among the four field populations could be accounted for by phenotypic plasticity, which in the case of CTMin, develops within 5 days of temperature exposure and is lost rapidly on return to the original conditions. Limited variation in CT Max supports bioclimatic models that suggest tsetse are likely to show range contraction with warming from climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-794
Number of pages9
JournalThe American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume74
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006
Externally publishedYes

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