Canadian Forest Service Publications

Animal life cycle models (Poikilotherms). 2013. Régnière, J.; Powell, J.A. Chapter 16, pages 295-315 in M.D. Schwartz, ed. Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science, 2nd ed., Springer.

Year: 2013

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35350

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-6925-0_16

† This site may require a fee.


This chapter discusses the theoretical basis and application of phenology models for poikilothermic animals, with a particular emphasis on insects. Realistic and accurate models make use of the non-linear, unimodal nature of physiological responses to temperature, using the rate-summation paradigm. In addition, the intrinsic (genetic) variation of developmental rates within populations is described and used to generate simulations where life-cycle events are distributed over time among individuals rather than occurring simultaneously within populations. The usefulness of circle maps to understand the impact of climate on poikilotherm life cycles is illustrated. The application of phenology models at landscape scale, and their use in the study of the impacts of climate and climate change on the distribution of poikilotherms are illustrated with two examples.

Plain Language Summary

Maintaining a seasonal cycle that is well-adapted to the availability of essential resources is an important element in the lives of all organisms, both in the tropics (dry season-wet season) and in temperate zones (summer-winter). The greater seasonal climate variations are, the more important the adaptation of living beings to these changes becomes. This adaptation is important for all animals, but the impact of temperature on seasonal development is greater in cold-blooded animals.

This book chapter presents the basic concepts of development modeling based on temperature in cold-blooded living beings, particularly in insects. It describes the results of simulations of the effect of daily and seasonal temperature changes on their life cycles. It also discusses the implications of annual temperature change for maintaining synchronization in the life cycles of insects. Lastly, it presents an approach aimed at predicting the effect of climate change on the annual development cycle of animals across the landscape.

Date modified: