唧唧堂编辑二朵2014-06-23 2:41 PM

考拉抱树党展示出树栖哺乳动物新颖的体温调节机制 Tree-hugging koalas demonstrate a novel thermoregulatory mechanism for arboreal mammals

论文摘要 

气候如何影响生物不仅要看他们的生理方面,也要看他们是否能通过自己的行为习惯来应对气候变化。物种承受高温天气的其中一种方式是当它们的栖息地具有遮荫避难所时,在该栖息地寻找凉爽微环境。在此我们描述了树栖哺乳动物中考拉的一种新型体温调节策略。在炎热天气时节,考拉通过搜寻和依靠比周围空气温度凉爽许多的树干来增强身体的传导散热。我们利用热交换生物物理模型表明这种行为大大释放了本来需通过(汗液)才能蒸发冷却的热量,这无形中增加了考拉在极端高温时节的生存率。虽然人们早已知道树木内部温度和环境中的空气温度不同,但这个为树栖或半树栖哺乳动物的意义以前未曾受到探索。我们的研究结果强调了树干作为地面'散热器'不仅为考拉同时也为所有树栖种类提供局部凉爽微环境的重要作用。 

Abstract

How climate impacts organisms depends not only on their physiology, but also whether they can buffer themselves against climate variability via their behaviour. One of the way species can withstand hot temperatures is by seeking out cool microclimates, but only if their habitat provides such refugia. Here, we describe a novel thermoregulatory strategy in an arboreal mammal, the koala Phascolarctos cinereus. During hot weather, koalas enhanced conductive heat loss by seeking out and resting against tree trunks that were substantially cooler than ambient air temperature. Using a biophysical model of heat exchange, we show that this behaviour greatly reduces the amount of heat that must be lost via evaporative cooling, potentially increasing koala survival during extreme heat events. While it has long been known that internal temperatures of trees differ from ambient air temperatures, the relevance of this for arboreal and semi-arboreal mammals has not previously been explored. Our results highlight the important role of tree trunks as aboveground 'heat sinks', providing cool local microenvironments not only for koalas, but also for all tree-dwelling species.

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唧唧堂编辑二朵

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