New Guinean birds & their thermal tolerances paper out in Diversity & Distributions

Cold at the top, moderate in the middle, warm at the bottom. That's a concise description of temperature along tropical mountain slopes, but it doesn't seem that new guinean montane birds are thermally adapted to the particular slices of mountainside that they inhabit...

Cold at the top, moderate in the middle, warm at the bottom. That's a concise description of temperature along tropical mountain slopes, but it doesn't seem that new guinean montane birds are thermally adapted to the particular slices of mountainside that they inhabit...

Excited that this paper is out. It's pretty straightforward -- there's no evidence that high elevation species in New Guinea (that experience extra cold temperatures) are better able to deal with cold than montane birds that live at warmer elevations, at least when using two common metrics that describe thermal physiology (lower critical temperature and thermal conductance). A somewhat surprising result. Maybe there are other aspects of physiological adaptation to cold that are more important (or, for birds that live above ~ 2,500 m, adaptations to hypoxia), or maybe these birds' elevational distributions are simply more influenced by food, diseases and competitors than by abiotic conditions. A big thank you to Brian McNab -- all the physiological data came from his studies, and he provided encouragement and advice when I first began this project. 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12409/full#references