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Data from: Heat tolerance in ectotherms scales predictably with body size

Cite this dataset

Rezende, Enrico; Peralta-Maraver, Ignacio (2020). Data from: Heat tolerance in ectotherms scales predictably with body size [Dataset]. Dryad.


This study analyses how heat stress varies with body size in ectothermic organisms. The analytical approach is based on thermal death time (TDT) curves, which take into consideration both the intensity and the duration of a thermal stress, and result in a linear relationship between temperature and the logarithm of time. We analyzed two separate heat tolerance datasets measured in mollusk, arthropod, fish, amphibian and reptile species, covering nearly 9 orders of magnitude in size. Datasets ware intrinsically different but ultimately convey the same type of information on thermal tolerance. The first dataset comprised individual measurements of heat stress (i.e., data points expressed in temperature and time coordinates) whereas the second dataset described the intercept and slope of TDT curves. In both cases, smaller organisms exhibited a higher tolerance to an acute heat stress than larger ones, but their tolerance declined faster in time.We then combined the results from our scaling analyses with geographic information to quantify thermal safety margins standardized by mass and time. 


All the data employed in this study was compiled from the literature. Dataset 1 includes estimates of critical thermal limits, complemented with information on the duration of each assay obtainedfrom the original sources (n= 328 measurements), whereas Dataset 2 describes slopes and intercepts of individual TDT curves in a different and more restricted sample (n= 62 curves). We combined these datasets with information on the collection sites and wet body mass. Collection sites were then employed to retrieve maximum mean monthly air and sea surface temperatures for terrestrial and marine organisms, respectively. The detailed sources are provided in the attached Readme.txt and in the original paper.     

Usage notes

See attached Readme.txt for additional information.


Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo, Award: 1170017