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Title: Low heat tolerance and high desiccation resistance in nocturnal bees and the implications for nocturnal pollination under climate change

Predicting insect responses to climate change is essential for preserving ecosystem services and biodiversity. Due to high daytime temperatures and low humidity levels, nocturnal insects are expected to have lower heat and desiccation tolerance compared to diurnal species. We estimated the lower (CTMin) and upper (CTMax) thermal limits ofMegalopta, a group of neotropical, forest-dwelling bees. We calculated warming tolerance (WT) as a metric to assess vulnerability to global warming and measured survival rates during simulated heatwaves and desiccation stress events. We also assessed the impact of body size and reproductive status (ovary area) on bees’ thermal limits.Megaloptadisplayed lower CTMin, CTMax, and WTs than diurnal bees (stingless bees, orchid bees, and carpenter bees), but exhibited similar mortality during simulated heatwave and higher desiccation tolerance. CTMinincreased with increasing body size across all bees but decreased with increasing body size and ovary area inMegalopta, suggesting a reproductive cost or differences in thermal environments. CTMaxdid not increase with increasing body size or ovary area. These results indicate a greater sensitivity ofMegaloptato temperature than humidity and reinforce the idea that nocturnal insects are thermally constrained, which might threaten pollination services in nocturnal contexts during global warming.

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Award ID(s):
1755375 1950805
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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