# A better model for predicting death by heat in nature?

September 03, 2020A mathematical model that better accounts for temperature impacts from duration of exposure is helping scientists improve their grasp of how future climate warming will affect the survival of natural Drosophila populations. Instead of critical temperatures, which this work highlights as unreliable predictors of heat mortality, the model accounts for the dynamic and cumulative effects of warming conditions. The approach, say the authors, is readily applicable to other small ectotherms whose survival can be adequately measured in lab settings. In general, critical temperature limits derived from laboratory experiments - which inform how hot an organism can get, and for how long, before it dies - are used to estimate the temperature mortality of natural populations. However, in the highly variable natural environment, predicting heat death is more complicated. Critical limits largely neglect the cumulative effects of thermal stress on an animal's survival and how it varies with temperature and time. Building on previous research, Enrico Rezende and colleagues developed a dynamic model capable of predicting fruit fly mortality under variable temperatures and exposure times using a handful of fixed-temperature heat tolerance laboratory measurements. According to Rezende et al., the model-based theoretical predictions of lethal temperatures for 11 different Drosophila species under different warming conditions were nearly identical to empirical findings; that is, the model correctly predicted similar death times for flies in real-world heat conditions, where temperatures ramped up. "The correspondence of mortality predictions with field observations suggest that this model captures real-world phenomena. And, perhaps most important, the model suggests that relatively low field temperatures... can cause substantial mortality and population collapse," write Raymond Huey and Michael Kearney in a related Perspective.

-end-

American Association for the Advancement of Science

**Related Mathematical Model Articles:**

Mathematical modelling to prevent fistulas

It is better to invest in measures that make it easier for women to visit a doctor during pregnancy than measures to repair birth injuries.

It is better to invest in measures that make it easier for women to visit a doctor during pregnancy than measures to repair birth injuries.

Predicting heat death in species more reliable with new mathematical model

An international research with the involvement of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), published in Science, has developed a new dynamic mathematical model which represents a change in paradigm in predicting the probability of heat-related mortality in small species.

An international research with the involvement of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), published in Science, has developed a new dynamic mathematical model which represents a change in paradigm in predicting the probability of heat-related mortality in small species.

Using a Gaussian mathematical model to define eruptive stages of young volcanic rocks

Precise dating of young samples since the Quaternary has been a difficult problem in the study of volcanoes and surface environment.

Precise dating of young samples since the Quaternary has been a difficult problem in the study of volcanoes and surface environment.

Moffitt mathematical model predicts patient outcomes to adaptive therapy

In an article published in Nature Communications, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers provide a closer look at a mathematical model and data showing that individual patient alterations in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) biomarker early in cancer treatment can predict outcomes to later treatment cycles of adaptive therapy.

In an article published in Nature Communications, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers provide a closer look at a mathematical model and data showing that individual patient alterations in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) biomarker early in cancer treatment can predict outcomes to later treatment cycles of adaptive therapy.

New mathematical model can more effectively track epidemics

As COVID-19 spreads worldwide, leaders are relying on mathematical models to make public health and economic decisions.

As COVID-19 spreads worldwide, leaders are relying on mathematical models to make public health and economic decisions.

Mathematical model could lead to better treatment for diabetes

MIT researchers have developed a mathematical model that can predict the behavior of glucose-responsive insulin in humans and in rodents.

MIT researchers have developed a mathematical model that can predict the behavior of glucose-responsive insulin in humans and in rodents.

New mathematical model reveals how major groups arise in evolution

Researchers at Uppsala University and the University of Leeds presents a new mathematical model of patterns of diversity in the fossil record, which offers a solution to Darwin's ''abominable mystery'' and strengthens our understanding of how modern groups originate.

Researchers at Uppsala University and the University of Leeds presents a new mathematical model of patterns of diversity in the fossil record, which offers a solution to Darwin's ''abominable mystery'' and strengthens our understanding of how modern groups originate.

Mathematical model reveals behavior of cellular enzymes

Mathematical modeling helps researchers to understand how enzymes in the body work to ensure normal functioning.

Mathematical modeling helps researchers to understand how enzymes in the body work to ensure normal functioning.

New mathematical model for amyloid formation

Scientists report on a mathematical model for the formation of amyloid fibrils.

Scientists report on a mathematical model for the formation of amyloid fibrils.

New mathematical model shows how diversity speeds consensus

Scientific literature abounds with examples of ways in which member diversity can benefit a group -- whether spider colonies' ability to forage or an industrial company's financial performance.

Scientific literature abounds with examples of ways in which member diversity can benefit a group -- whether spider colonies' ability to forage or an industrial company's financial performance.

## Trending Science News

**Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News**

## Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the**top science podcasts of 2020**.

**Now Playing: TED Radio Hour**

**Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces**

How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.

**Now Playing: Science for the People**

**#576 Science Communication in Creative Places**

When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...

**Now Playing: Radiolab**

**What If?**

There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate. You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.