This is part of a series of short lay summaries that describe the technical publications I have authored. This paper, entitled “The impact of environmental warming on Odonata – a review”, was published in the International Journal of Odonatology in 2012. You can find this paper online at the publisher, or on Figshare.
Background: Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) are thought to have evolved in the tropics and possess a number of adaptations that allow them to exist at higher latitudes. This makes them interesting to investigate in the context of climate change, since these adaptations might facilitate a response to increasing temperatures.
What we did: This paper is a review of the literature looking at the ecology and evolution of Odonata in the context of climate change. A number of areas are discussed including distributional changes, phenological shifts, evolutionary responses, the effects of drought and the physiological effects of temperature.
Importance: A large amount of work has been carried out on the influence of temperature on the biology of Odonata over the past 50-60 years. This has come from a variety of loosely-related fields and our review brings this together to provide an overview of the state-of-play concerning our understanding of the topic.
Image credit: Patricia H Schuette, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, http://bit.ly/1BO5i4r