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Global Warming and Terrestrial Metabolism of Ectotherms


An article on the effect of rising temperatures on the metabolism of various terrestrial ectotherms. The article by Dillon et al published in Nature describes the relationship between climate change and metabolic rate globally. Further, it describes the effects of changing metabolic rates on organisms in temperate and tropical regions.

Students will learn how global warming is potentially affecting the metabolic rate of various terrestrial ectotherms. They will also learn that tropical ectotherms, that constitute a large percentage of Earth’s biodiversity, tend to be more severely affected by rising temperatures due to climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Discuss how global warming is potentially affecting the metabolic rate of terrestrial ectotherms.
  2. What is the fundamental equation used to calculate metabolic rate?
  3. How does the metabolism of tropical ectotherms respond to climate change?
  4. List some of the physiological and ecological impacts that can arise from increased metabolic rate.
About Tool
Tool Name Global metabolic impacts of recent climate warming
Discipline Biological Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Adaptation, Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Metabolism, Metabolic Rate, Factors affecting Metabolic Rate, Ectotherms
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Reading
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Michael E. Dillon, GeorgeWang & Raymond B. Huey
Hosted at Nature 467(7316):704-6
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic


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