BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Scientists have warned that a warming world harms insects’ ability to reproduce, which might lead to long-term consequences.
They also have found that insects in northern latitudes are more vulnerable than those in the south, according to an article in the latest Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
Many insects are unable to move great distances while they are juveniles, and are more at risk from a warming climate, the article added.
Co-author Rhonda Snook from the University of Sheffield, UK, said, in extreme heat weather event, many of the insects can hardly move much.
Others may live through it, "but then they have the subsequent problem of reproducing," Snook pointed out.
Snook said the insects in the experiments were exposed to a temperature increase of 5.5°C for 10 days, which was enough to cause permanent damage to the insects' ability to reproduce.
She said her research team was interested in studying the effect of temperature rises in organisms.
The team examined the effect of increased ambient temperature rise on two populations of fruit flies -- one from Spain and another from Sweden.
"We showed that the one that evolved in a colder temperature (Swedish fruit flies) was less resistant to these extreme weather events than the southern (Spanish) population. That wasn't known before," she said.
Climate modelers have suggested that extreme weather events, such as heat-waves and droughts, are about to become more frequent.
Snook warned that any change in insect populations could result in changes in ecosystems, but to what extent would require further research.