Data from: Microhabitat and body size effects on heat tolerance: implications for responses to climate change (army ants: Formicidae, Ecitoninae)
Baudier, Kaitlin M., Drexel University
Mudd, Abigail E., Drexel University
Erickson, Shayna C., Drexel University
O'Donnell, Sean, Drexel University
Published Jun 15, 2015 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Baudier, Kaitlin M.; Mudd, Abigail E.; Erickson, Shayna C.; O'Donnell, Sean (2015). Data from: Microhabitat and body size effects on heat tolerance: implications for responses to climate change (army ants: Formicidae, Ecitoninae) [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7q3j8
1. Models that predict organismal and population responses to climate change may be improved by considering ecological factors that affect species thermal tolerance. Species differences in microhabitat use can expose animals to diverse thermal selective environments at a given site and may cause sympatric species to evolve different thermal tolerances. 2. We tested the hypothesis that species differences in body size and microhabitat use (above- vs. below-ground activity) would correspond to differences in thermal tolerance (maximum critical temperatures: CTmax). Thermal buffering effects of soil can reduce exposure to extreme high temperatures for below-ground active species. We predicted larger-bodied individuals and species would have higher CTmax and that species mean CTmax would covary positively with degree of above-ground activity. We used Neotropical army ants (Formicidae: Ecitoninae) as models. Army ants vary in microhabitat use from largely subterranean to largely above-ground active species and are highly size polymorphic. 3. We collected data on above- and below-ground temperatures in habitats used by army ants to test for microhabitat temperature differences, and we conducted CTmax assays for army ant species with varying degrees of surface activity and with different body sizes within and between species. We then tested whether microhabitat use was associated with species differences in CTmax and whether microhabitat was a better predictor of CTmax than body size for species that overlapped in size. 4. Microhabitat use was a highly significant predictor of species' upper thermal tolerance limits, both for raw data and after accounting for the effects of phylogeny. Below-ground species were more thermally sensitive, with lower maximum critical temperatures (CTmax). The smallest workers within each species were the least heat tolerant, but the magnitude of CTmax change with body size was greater in below-ground species. Species-typical microhabitat was a stronger predictor of CTmax than body size for species that overlapped in size. Compared to the soil surface, 10-cm subsoil was a significantly moderated thermal environment for below-ground army ants, while maximum surface raid temperatures sometimes exceeded CTmax for the most thermally sensitive army ant castes. 5. We conclude sympatric species differences in thermal physiology correspond to microhabitat use. These patterns should be accounted for in models of species and community responses to thermal variation and climate change.
All data in this file was collected in the field. Data were input manually. These data were used for all analyses having heat-tolerance as a response variable. Species codes were used: Ebparvi = Eciton burchellii parvispinum, ECITmexi = Eciton mexicanum, LABIcoec = Labidus coecus, LABIprae = Labidus praedator, LABIJTL001 = Labidus JTL001, LABIspin = Labidus spininodis, NEIVpilo = Neivamyrmex pilosus, NEIVmacr = Neivamyrmex macrodentatus, NEIVsumi = Neivamyrmex sumichrasti
iButton air temperatures
These data were collected in the field using calibrated ibutton temperature loggers (model: thermochron, Maxim Integrated). OneWireViewer software was used to read probes.
ibutton temperatures to submit.xlsx
Max & Min surface temperatures
These data are maximum and minimum surface temperatures collected at 40 surface army ant raids in Monteverde, Costa Rica using infrared thermometers.
MaxMin IR raid temps to submit.xlsx
Specimen head widths
These are a collection of head-width measurements used to calculate means for each visually-discerned size category. Specimens were stored together within each body size category. Specimens were photographed under a dissecting microscope, and measured using ImageJ.