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Linepithema humile, climate change, invasive species, respiration, thermal performance, Bernard Field Station


It is important to examine the potential effects that rising temperatures due to climate change can have on ecosystems. Linepithema humile, an invasive species in California, has shown to be broadly tolerant of temperature. We sought to determine the correlation between respiration and temperature for L. humile. We predicted that L. humile’s thermal optimum for respiration would be close to 28ºC, the approximate maximum critical temperature for L. humile. We did not find evidence of a correlation between oxygen consumption and temperature. Our data suggested L. humile respiration thermal optimum was between 33-40℃, because 33℃was the peak point in our data, while at 40℃there was a significant drop in respiration. These results suggest that the optimum respiration temperature for L. humile is different from its maximum critical temperature.