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Increased Daily Temperature Fluctuations Overrule the Ability of Gradual Thermal Evolution to Offset the Increased Pesticide Toxicity under Global Warming

Verheyen, Julie, Delnat, Vienna, Stoks, Robby
Environmental science & technology 2019 v.53 no.8 pp. 4600-4608
Ischnura, chlorpyrifos, ecotoxicology, global warming, heat tolerance, larvae, latitude, mortality, risk assessment, temperature, toxic substances, toxicity
The widespread evidence that global warming can increase species sensitivities to chemical toxicants, and vice versa, and the recent insight that thermal evolution may mitigate these effects is crucial to predict the future impact of toxicants in a warming world. Nevertheless, a major component of global warming, the predicted increase in daily temperature fluctuations (DTFs), has been ignored at the interface of evolutionary ecotoxicology and global change biology. We studied whether 4 °C warming and a 5 °C DTF increase (to 10 °C DTF) magnified the negative impact of the insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) in larvae of low- and high-latitude populations of the damselfly Ischnura elegans. While 4 °C warming only increased CPF-induced mortality in high-latitude larvae, the high (10 °C) DTF increased CPF-induced larval mortality at both latitudes. CPF reduced the heat tolerance; however, this was buffered by latitude-specific thermal adaptation to both mean temperature and DTF. Integrating our results in a space-for-time substitution indicated that gradual thermal evolution in high-latitude larvae may offset the negative effects of CPF on heat tolerance under warming, unless the expected DTF increase is taken into account. Our results highlight the crucial importance of jointly integrating DTFs and thermal evolution to improve risk assessment of toxicants under global warming.