Open Access Animal Physiology
Open access peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals.
Dove Medical Press is now a member of the Open Access Initiative
An Author's Guide
A guide to help authors get their paper published.
Support Open Access and Dove Press
Promotional Article Monitoring - further details
Favored Author Program
Real benefits for authors, including fast-track processing of papers.
Characterizing the thermal environment of small mammals: what should we be measuring, and how?
(6142) Total Article Views
Authors: Joy C Coleman, Colleen T Downs
Published Date September 2010
Volume 2010:2 Pages 47 - 59
Joy C Coleman, Colleen T Downs
School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Abstract: Operative temperature and standard operative temperature have been proposed as providing an estimate of the thermal load experienced by endotherms and ectotherms. Common techniques of measuring operative temperature include black-bulb temperatures or simplified unheated metal models, typically made of copper. We quantified the thermal environment perceived by a small, arboreal rodent using a number of methods at three study sites in winter and summer. Our area of interest was how well these methods accurately portrayed the actual temperatures that small mammals are exposed to. We predicted that black-bulb and copper model temperatures would more accurately predict operative temperature during photophase when compared with other direct measurements/devices, and that black-bulb temperature would record the greatest variation in temperatures. Temperature differences between the methods were largest during the midday, when temperatures were highest. All methods recorded a greater range of temperatures during photophase than during scotophase. Black-bulb and model temperatures produced more accurate, rapid measurements when compared with measurements produced by direct temperature recording devices, particularly during photophase, when solar radiation is the major influence of heating. Other methods lagged behind black-bulb measurements. Although mean temperatures of some of the methods were significantly different, there was a high degree of correlation between all methods, even after randomization and generation of 25% and 10% subsamples. In studies requiring accurate time series measurements, it is suggested that black-bulb or copper models be employed rather than direct temperature recording devices. Simpler measurement devices would suffice for studies requiring an estimate of the temperature variation and trends in the microclimate of small mammals, particularly arboreal or cavity dwelling species.
Keywords: ambient temperature, operative temperature, black-bulb, model, small mammal, cavity dweller
Cannotea Citeulike Del.icio.us Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
Readers of this article also read:
Call For Submissions
Submit Original Research Article, Review, Case Report, or Rapid Communication in Open Access Animal Physiology
- Evolution of a domain conserved in microtubule-associated proteins of eukaryotes
- Is gene activity in plant cells affected by UMTS-irradiation? A whole genome approach
- Overview of the LDL receptor: relevance to cholesterol metabolism and future approaches for the treatment of coronary heart disease
- Discrimination between biological interfaces and crystal-packing contacts