On behalf of Sophia Engel:
Next week we’ll have a joint lab meeting with the Animal Flight Lab. Please note: It will take place Monday (25 January) at 9:00h in “Argumentet” (not 9:30h!). We will discuss flight performance of insects and the effect of ambient temperature. Ectotherm animals are, of course, much more sensitive to ambient temperature than endotherms, with important consequences not only for activity patterns but also for body proportions, muscle physiology, and aerodynamics. Berwaerts and van Dyck (Oecologia (2004) 141: 536–545) studied take-off performance of butterflies under different thermal conditions and found that a certain wing shape is more beneficial at optimal than at cold temperatures. Frazier et al. (2008, The Journal of Experimental Biology 211, 2116-2122) show that in drosophila flies even the thermal history of an individual may affect flight capabilities later on in life. Based on their results, they suggest that developmental plasticity may push the thermal performance envelope farther in the direction of the stress (in this case, cold temperatures), rather than optimizing performance to the exact rearing conditions. I think these papers will give us plenty of discussion material.
Please contact Sophia by email if you wish to have a pdf version of the papers, since it is impossible to include them in this post: Sophia.Engel@teorekol.lu.se.