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Data from: Heat tolerance variation reveals vulnerability of tropical herbivore-parasitoid interactions to climate change


Wenda, Cheng et al. (2022), Data from: Heat tolerance variation reveals vulnerability of tropical herbivore-parasitoid interactions to climate change, Dryad, Dataset,


Assessing the heat tolerance (CTmax) of organisms is central to understand the impact of climate change on biodiversity. While both environment and evolutionary history affect CTmax, it is unclear how these factors and their interplay influence ecological interactions, communities, and ecosystems under climate change. We collected and reared caterpillars and parasitoids from canopy and ground layers in different seasons in a tropical rainforest. We tested the CTmax and Thermal Safety Margins (TSM) of these food webs with implications for how species interactions could shift under climate change. We identified strong influence of phylogeny in herbivore-parasitoid community heat tolerance. The TSM of all insects were narrower in the canopy and parasitoids had lower heat tolerance compared to their hosts. Our CTmax-based simulation showed higher herbivore-parasitoid food web instability under climate change than previously assumed, highlighting the vulnerability of parasitoids and related herbivore control in tropical rainforests, particularly in the forest canopy.


This dataset include two parts:

1) heat tolerance data (CTmax) of herbivores and associated parasitoids, body size of herbivores and parasitoids, the season and forest layers they were sampled collected also included. These heat tolerance data were measured with a Grant-TX200 water bath (accuracy 0.01 °C) at ramping speed of f 0.2 °C per min and recorded as the temperature they lost musle movements. Detailed morpho-species codes, parameter and descriptions of the CTmax measurement methodology were listed in the associated study.

2) three herbivore-parasitoid food webs from rearing. These food webs are from quantative sampling of forest canopy in the hot season, forest understory in the hot season, and forest understory in the cool season. Column names are parasitoids and rows names are herbivore. Detailed morpho-species codes, description of survey, food web assemble forest layers, and seasons could be found in the associated study.

Usage Notes

Microsoft Excel


University of Hong Kong, Award: 201810159002