COS 63-3
Seasonal effects of climate warming on forest-floor arthropod communities

Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 8:40 AM
321, Baltimore Convention Center
Jacquelyn Lee Fitzgerald, Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Thomas R. Wentworth, Plant & Microbial Biology, NC State University, Raleigh, NC
Clint A. Penick, Applied Ecology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Katie Stuble, Plant Sciences, University of California, DAVIS, CA
Robert R. Dunn, Applied Ecology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Climatic warming is predicted to reshape ecological communities on a global scale. The impacts of warming on community composition and diversity have been shown to vary with latitude, primarily as a result of differences in species’ thermal tolerances. However, it is unclear how warming will differ in effects on co-occurring species that are active at different periods of the year. We used the results of a large-scale experimental temperature manipulation in Duke Forest, NC, to examine the effects of simulated forest-floor warming on arthropod community structure. Using monthly community samplings over a two-year period, we measured species’ abundances and taxonomic diversity to assess the consequences of temperature increases.


We show that experimental warming has significant effects on arthropod community structure, and that these effects vary strongly with season and taxonomic group. Our results suggest that sensitivities of species to climate warming depend on their seasonal activity patterns.