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Modelling mammalian energetics: the heterothermy problem

Levesque, DL, Nowack, J and Stawski, C (2016) Modelling mammalian energetics: the heterothermy problem. Climate Change Responses, 3 (7). ISSN 2053-7565

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Global climate change is expected to have strong effects on the world’s flora and fauna. As a result, there has been a recent increase in the number of meta-analyses and mechanistic models that attempt to predict potential responses of mammals to changing climates. Many models that seek to explain the effects of environmental temperatures on mammalian energetics and survival assume a constant body temperature. However, despite generally being regarded as strict homeotherms, mammals demonstrate a large degree of daily variability in body temperature, as well as the ability to reduce metabolic costs either by entering torpor, or by increasing body temperatures at high ambient temperatures. Often, changes in body temperature variability are unpredictable, and happen in response to immediate changes in resource abundance or temperature. In this review we provide an overview of variability and unpredictability found in body temperatures of extant mammals, identify potential blind spots in the current literature, and discuss options for incorporating variability into predictive mechanistic models.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2018 10:54
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 02:21
DOI or ID number: 10.1186/s40665-016-0022-3
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9435
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