Climate change in the
Results from the 2008 field season suggest development rate of O. gruehneri was not constant throughout the summer and was restricted in both the coldest (early June) and warmest (late July) periods of the season. Survival rates between the two treatments (natural versus warmed) with more infective larvae being recovered from the warmed treatment. In general, larval survival was relatively constant throughout the summer. The highest numbers of larvae were recovered from the plots during mid-July and late August. Numbers of larvae declined at the end of July and this decline corresponds to the warmest time of year, suggesting that O. gruehneri has an upper tolerance threshold.
Results from the field studies suggest that development and survival of O. gruehneri are constrained by climatic thresholds. Extreme temperatures (both high and low) affect development rate of O. gruehneri, whereas temperature and relative humidity determine survival rate. Expected increases in temperature and humidity in the Arctic are likely to impact the development, survival, and subsequent transmission dynamics of O. gruehneri. Field results will be used, together with laboratory experiments, to develop and validate conceptual and predictive models for the impacts of climate change on the epidemiology of O. gruehneri.