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Responses of Manduca sexta larvae to heat waves

Cite this dataset

Kingsolver, Joel et al. (2021). Responses of Manduca sexta larvae to heat waves [Dataset]. Dryad.


Climate change is increasing the frequency of heat waves and other extreme weather events experienced by organisms. How does the number and developmental timing of heat waves affect survival, growth and development of insects? Do heat waves early in development alter performance later in development? We addressed these questions using experimental heat waves with larvae of the Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca sexta. The experiments used diurnally fluctuating temperature treatments differing in the number (0-3) and developmental timing (early, middle and/or late in larval development) of heat waves, in which a single heat wave involved three consecutive days with a daily maximum temperature of 42 C. Survival to pupation declines with increasing number of heat waves. Multiple (but not single) heat waves significantly reduced development time and pupal mass; the best models for the data indicated that both the number and developmental timing of heat waves affected performance. In addition, heat waves earlier in development significantly reduced growth and development rates later in larval development. Our results illustrate how the frequency and developmental timing of sublethal heat waves can have important consequences for life history traits in insects.


Data in file Kingsolveretal.JEB2021.Msexta.lab.HeatWave.Experiments.finaldata.Dryad.Feb2021.xls include all data used in the analyses and figures in the associated paper. See the paper for methodological details. The experiments used Manduca sexta from a laboratory colony maintained at UNC in Chapel Hill NC; larvae were reared on standard artificial diet.  The experimental design is shown in Fig. 1 of the paper.

Usage notes

See associated Readme file. All processing and analyses were done using R.  Data fields are defined in a separate worksheet in the datafile. Missing values are indicated by NA.


National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1555959

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-2029156