Field data confirm the ability of a biophysical model to predict wild primate body temperature

Mathewson, P.D., Porter, W.P., Barrett, L., Fuller, A., Henzi, S.P., Hetem, R.S., Young, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-8919-2093 and McFarland, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8245-9269, 2020. Field data confirm the ability of a biophysical model to predict wild primate body temperature. Journal of Thermal Biology, 94: 102754. ISSN 0306-4565

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Abstract

In the face of climate change there is an urgent need to understand how animal performance is affected by environmental conditions. Biophysical models that use principles of heat and mass transfer can be used to explore how an animal's morphology, physiology, and behavior interact with its environment in terms of energy, mass and water balances to affect fitness and performance. We used Niche Mapper™ (NM) to build a vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) biophysical model and tested the model's ability to predict core body temperature (Tb) variation and thermal stress against Tb and behavioral data collected from wild vervets in South Africa. The mean observed Tb in both males and females was within 0.5 °C of NM's predicted Tbs for 91% of hours over the five-year study period. This is the first time that NM's Tb predictions have been validated against field data from a wild endotherm. Overall, these results provide confidence that NM can accurately predict thermal stress and can be used to provide insight into the thermoregulatory consequences of morphological (e.g., body size, shape, fur depth), physiological (e.g. Tb plasticity) and behavioral (e.g., huddling, resting, shade seeking) adaptations. Such an approach allows users to test hypotheses about how animals adapt to thermoregulatory challenges and make informed predictions about potential responses to environmental change such as climate change or habitat conversion. Importantly, NM's animal submodel is a general model that can be adapted to other species, requiring only basic information on an animal's morphology, physiology and behavior.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Thermal Biology
Creators: Mathewson, P.D., Porter, W.P., Barrett, L., Fuller, A., Henzi, S.P., Hetem, R.S., Young, C. and McFarland, R.
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Date: December 2020
Volume: 94
ISSN: 0306-4565
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102754DOI
1492568Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 16 Nov 2021 14:54
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 14:54
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44821

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