This programme studies thermal adaptation of ectothermic (coldblooded) organisms. The thermal environment is a factor crucially affecting ectotherm life history. Metabolism, thermal tolerance and resistance, as well as lower and upper temperature boundaries all differ between species and populations. This indicates the presence of specific adaptations but also constraints, the physiological and genetic basis of which is generally not well understood. Ultimately, such adaptation at the physiological level affects the dispersal, migration, diapause and distribution of species. As a result, prominent within-species temperature-size effects (larger at cooler temperatures) and Bergmann clines (larger at higher latitudes) occur in all major animal taxa but remain largely unexplained.
Five years, from October 2006 to September 2011. Extended until April 2012.