At a proximal level, the physiological impacts of global climate change on ectothermic organisms are manifest as changes in body temperatures. Especially for plants and animals exposed to direct solar radiation, body temperatures can be substantially different from air temperatures. We deployed biomimetic sensors that approximate the thermal characteristics of intertidal mussels at 71 sites worldwide, from 1998-present. Loggers recorded temperatures at 10–30 min intervals nearly continuously at multiple intertidal elevations. Comparisons against direct measurements of mussel tissue temperature indicated errors of ~2.0–2.5 °C, during daily fluctuations that often exceeded 15°–20 °C. Geographic patterns in thermal stress based on biomimetic logger measurements were generally far more complex than anticipated based only on ‘habitat-level’ measurements of air or sea surface temperature. This unique data set provides an opportunity to link physiological measurements with spatially- and temporally-explicit field observations of body temperature.
- Climate-change impacts
- Marine biology