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Multidimensionality in the thermal niches of dung beetles could limit species' responses to temperature changes

By Joaquin Calatayud, Joaquin Hortal, Jorge Ari Noriega, Angel Arcones, Veronica Espinoza, Noemi Guil, Jorge M. Lobo

Posted 17 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.15.383612

Understanding the consequences of climate change requires understanding how temperature controls species' responses across key biological aspects, as well as the coordination of thermal responses across these aspects. We study the role of temperature in determining the species' diel, seasonal, and geographical occurrence, using dung beetles as a model system. We found that temperature has relatively low -but not negligible- effects in the three spatiotemporal scales, once accounting for alternative factors. More importantly, the estimated thermal responses were largely incongruent across scales. This shows that species have multidimensional thermal niches, entailing that adjustments to fulfil temperature requirements for one biological aspect, such as seasonal ontogenetic cycles, may result in detrimental effects on other aspects, like diel activity. These trade-offs can expose individuals to inadequate temperatures, reducing populations' performance. Paradoxically, the relatively weak effects of temperature we found may have serious consequences for species' responses to warming if temperature regulates essential aspects of species' biology in divergent ways. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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