Meeting Abstract

126-4  Sunday, Jan. 7 11:00 - 11:15  Resolving Constraints and Opportunities for Behavioral Rescue in Response to Rapid Environmental Change FEY, SB*; VASSEUR, DA; LOGAN, ML; ALUJEVIC, K; O'CONNOR, MI; CLUSELLA-TRULLAS, S; Reed College; Yale University; Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama; Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University; University of British Columbia; Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University

Behavior within the context of heterogeneous microhabitats is emerging as the primary mechanism by which ectotherms may avoid negative impacts of climate warming. However, the features of organisms and their environments that either constrain or enable effective behavioral thermoregulation remain poorly integrated into projections of future performance. As such, the degree to which behavior will actually ameliorate the negative fitness consequences of climate warming for wild populations is unclear. Here, we advance an approach for estimating field performance of ectotherms based on thermal reaction norms and the properties of the thermal landscape– including mean temperature, spatial variance, and spatial autocorrelation. We present a theoretical framework and explore its predictions, use this approach to examine the importance of behavior for a global dataset of 38 insect species using fine-grained climate projections, and lastly provide a case-study estimating historic and future performance of the subtropical lizard Agama atra. Our results show that integrating behavior and highly resolved environmental data into ecological forecasts can reduce or reverse the predicted detrimental responses of ectotherms to warming. However, the extent to which organisms are able to avoid such detrimental impacts largely depends on the relationship between mean environmental temperature and the cost of thermoregulatory behavior. For example, there is a strong positive relationship between mean temperature and thermal spatial variation in habitats occupied by Agama atra. This relationship suggests that the cost of thermoregulatory behavior will decrease as mean temperatures increase.