Climate warming is expected to increase the exposure of insects to hot events (involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures). These events are unlikely to cause widespread mortality but may modify population dynamics via impacting life history traits such as adult fecundity and egg hatching. These effects and their potential impact on population predictions are still largely unknown. In this study, we simulated a single hot event (maximum of 38°C lasting for 4 h) of a magnitude increasingly found under field conditions and examined its effect in the oriental fruit moth, Grapholitha molesta. This hot event had no impact on the survival of G. molesta adults, copulation periods or male longevity. However, the event increased female lifespan and the length of the oviposition period, leading to a potential increase in lifetime fecundity and suggesting hormesis. In contrast, exposure of males to this event markedly reduced the net reproductive value. Male heat treatment delayed the onset of oviposition in the females they mated with, as well as causing a decrease in the duration of oviposition period and lifetime fecundity. Both male and female stress also reduced egg hatch. Our findings of hormetic effects on female performance but concurrent detrimental effects on egg hatch suggest that hot events have unpredictable consequences on the population dynamics of this pest species with implications for likely effects associated with climate warming.
Liang, L. N., Zhang, W., Ma, G., Hoffmann, A. A., & Ma, C. S. (2014). A single hot event stimulates adult performance but reduces egg survival in the oriental fruit moth, Grapholitha molesta. PloS One, 9(12), e116339. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116339