Beetle Fertility Crashing in Heatwaves

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 13 November 2018


Beetle Fertility Crashing in Heatwaves

Climate change damaging male fertility,
University of East Anglia, November 13, 2018.


“...heatwaves damage sperm in insects - with negative impacts for fertility across generations.”

“...explain why climate change is having such an impact on species populations, including climate-related extinctions in recent years.”

"We know that biodiversity is suffering under climate change, but the specific causes and sensitivities are hard to pin down.“

"Heatwaves are particularly damaging extreme weather events. Local extinctions are known to occur when temperature changes become too intense. We wanted to know why this happens. And one answer could be related to sperm."

Poor Red Flour Beetle
50% Fertility Reduction
The team found that heatwaves halved the amount of offspring males could produce, and a second heatwave almost sterilised males.

"When males were exposed to two heatwave events 10 days apart, their offspring production was less than 1 per cent of the control group.“

Offspring Affected
“...offspring sired by heatwaved dads - or their sperm - live shorter lives - by a couple of months.”

Sons Less Fertile
“Sons were found to be less able to fertilise a series of potential mates, and produced less offspring.”

Cold Beetles
“Females, by contrast, were unaffected by heatwave conditions. However, female reproduction was affected indirectly because experiments showed that heatwaves damaged inseminated sperm within female reproductive tracts.”

Beetles a Quarter of Life on this Planet
“"Beetles are thought to constitute a quarter of biodiversity...”



We can Expect More Bad Beetle & Bug News
Climate-Driven Anthropocene: Killing Ourselves and Everything Else with Heatwaves

Climate Crash News, Weird Weather: Heat Wave-a-topia, More Heat Waves Coming

Rising Heat Continues: Another "Hottest" Record Set for Summer of 2017
with links to recent heat records


Bottom Line

Many insects cannot regulate their own body temperatures, and their development and mortality rates are strongly influenced by environmental temperatures. Even animals that can regulate body temperature are failing at dealing with the changes we’ve already seen, to put the insect world’s dilemma into perspective.

We’ve been seeing a debacle, a veritable planet-wide insect apocalypse going on, as reports of stunning collapses in global insect populations keep coming in. Now we are seeing research showing future implications of the rising incidence of heat waves we’re experiencing.

If this sensitivity is widespread among all, or most beetles, as well as some of the other 75% of the world's insects, ecosystems everywhere are in trouble. Especially as the incidence of heatwaves and extreme heatwaves is going up.

More editorilizing and editing to come, I need to take a break...



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Beetle Fertility Crashing in Heatwaves


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