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Behavioral response to temperature change by the freshwater crab Neostrengeria macropa (H. Milne Edwards, 1853) (Brachyura: Pseudothelphusidae) in Colombia

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We analyzed experimental behavioral data on temperature preference for the pseudothelphusid crab Neostrengeria macropa (H. Milne Edwards, 1853) in the Sabana de Bogotá (Bogotá Plain), Colombia to predict its likely behavioral response to temperature shocks and climate change. We used location data and the results of our behavioral assays to determine likely geographic range and how that range may be affected by impending climate change in the next century. We determined the temperature tolerance range of the crab to be between 10.5 and 26°C based on behavioral assays, along with mapping the likely effect of climate change on its biogeographic range using this temperature tolerance and the history of collections to inform a MaxEnt model. We found that N. macropa is not likely to change its geographic range in the next 70 years. It has a relatively wide temperature tolerance range (15.5°C) for a tropical animal, probably due to the wide daily temperature swing present on the Bogotá Plain. This work also provides a sense of the tolerance range and probable effect of climate change for more inaccessible pseudothelphusid crab species in Colombia since the country is mountainous and understudied for this group in rural areas. Increased development in Colombia combined with climate change could be devastating to these species.

Affiliations: 1: 1Division of Science, Mathematics, and Health Professions, Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA; 2: 3Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA


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