Effects of Global Warming on Predatory Bugs Supported by Data Across Geographic and Seasonal Climatic Gradients

Tarryn Schuldiner-Harpaz*, Moshe Coll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global warming may affect species abundance and distribution, as well as temperature-dependent morphometric traits. In this study, we first used historical data to document changes in Orius (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) species assemblage and individual morphometric traits over the past seven decades in Israel. We then tested whether these changes could have been temperature driven by searching for similar patterns across seasonal and geographic climatic gradients in a present survey. The historical records indicated a shift in the relative abundance of dominant Orius species; the relative abundance of O. albidipennis, a desert-adapted species, increased while that of O. laevigatus decreased in recent decades by 6 and 10-15 folds, respectively. These shifts coincided with an overall increase of up to 2.1°C in mean daily temperatures over the last 25 years in Israel. Similar trends were found in contemporary data across two other climatic gradients, seasonal and geographic; O. albidipennis dominated Orius assemblages under warm conditions. Finally, specimens collected in the present survey were significantly smaller than those from the 1980's, corresponding to significantly smaller individuals collected now during warmer than colder seasons. Taken together, results provide strong support to the hypothesis that temperature is the most likely driver of the observed shifts in species composition and body sizes because (1) historical changes in both species assemblage and body size were associated with rising temperatures in the study region over the last few decades; and (2) similar changes were observed as a result of contemporary drivers that are associated with temperature.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere66622
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2013

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