Global climate change models predict an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme temperature events in temperate regions. I explored the effects of severe and fluctuating daily temperatures on aphid-parasitoid interactions, parasitoid life history, and community dynamics using both theoretical and experimental approaches. I first modelled the community level effects of daily maximum temperatures, the frequency of warmer-than-average days, and the autocorrelation of daily temperatures on a theoretical aphid-parasitoid community. Then I experimentally investigated influence of the frequency and amplitude of daily temperatures on trait-mediated indirect interactions between green peach aphids and A. matricariae. Finally, I assessed how development under extreme fluctuating temperature regimes influenced the life history characteristics of A. matricariae. The results from my studies suggest that increased frequency and severity of extreme warm temperatures can negatively impact populations, population interactions, and community dynamics.
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Thesis advisor: Roitberg, Bernard
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