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Extensive regional variation in the phenology of insects and their response to temperature across North America

Overview of attention for article published in Ecology, April 2023
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (94th percentile)

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7 news outlets
26 X users
1 Facebook page


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Extensive regional variation in the phenology of insects and their response to temperature across North America
Published in
Ecology, April 2023
DOI 10.1002/ecy.4036
Pubmed ID

Peter O. Dunn, Insiyaa Ahmed, Elise Armstrong, Natasha Barlow, Malcolm A. Barnard, Marc Bélisle, Thomas J. Benson, Lisha L. Berzins, Chloe K. Boynton, T. Anders Brown, Melissa Cady, Kyle Cameron, Xuan Chen, Robert G. Clark, Ethan D. Clotfelter, Kara Cromwell, Russell D. Dawson, Elsie Denton, Andrew Forbes, Kendrick Fowler, Kevin C. Fraser, Kamal J. K. Gandhi, Dany Garant, Megan Hiebert, Claire Houchen, Jennifer Houtz, Tara L. Imlay, Brian D. Inouye, David W. Inouye, Michelle Jackson, Andrew P. Jacobson, Kristin Jayd, Christy Juteau, Andrea Kautz, Caroline Killian, Elliot Kinnear, Kimberly J. Komatsu, Kirk Larsen, Andrew Laughlin, Valerie Levesque‐Beaudin, Ryan Leys, Elizabeth Long, Stephen C. Lougheed, Stuart Mackenzie, Jen Marangelo, Colleen Miller, Brenda Molano‐Flores, Christy A. Morrissey, Emony Nicholls, Jessica M. Orlofske, Ian S. Pearse, Fanie Pelletier, Amber L. Pitt, Joseph P. Poston, Danielle M. Racke, Jeannine A. Randall, Matthew L. Richardson, Olivia Rooney, A. Rose Ruegg, Scott Rush, Sadie J. Ryan, Mitchell Sadowski, Ivana Schoepf, Lindsay Schulz, Brenna Shea, Thomas N. Sheehan, Lynn Siefferman, Derek Sikes, Mark Stanback, John D. Styrsky, Conor C. Taff, Jennifer J. Uehling, Kathleen Uvino, Thomas Wassmer, Kathryn Weglarz, Megan Weinberger, John Wenzel, Linda A. Whittingham


Climate change models often assume similar responses to temperatures across a species range, but local adaptation or phenotypic plasticity can lead plants and animals to respond differently to temperature in different parts of their range. To date, there have been few tests of this assumption at the scale of continents, so it is unclear if this is a large-scale problem. Here, we examined the assumption that insect taxa show similar responses to temperature at 96 sites in grassy habitats across North America. We sampled insects with Malaise traps during 2019-2021 (N = 1041 samples) and examined the biomass of insects in relation to temperature and time of season. Our samples mostly contained Diptera (33%), Lepidoptera (19%), Hymenoptera (18%), and Coleoptera (10%). We found strong regional differences in the phenology of insects and their response to temperature, even within the same taxonomic group, habitat type and time of season. For example, biomass of nematoceran flies increased across the season in the central part of the continent, but it only showed a small increase in the northeast and a seasonal decline in the southeast and west. At a smaller scale, insect biomass at different traps operating on the same days was correlated up to about 75 km apart. Large-scale geographic and phenological variation in insect biomass and abundance has not been studied well, and it is a major source of controversy in previous analyses of insect declines that have aggregated studies from different locations and time periods. Our study illustrates that large-scale predictions about changes in insect populations, and their causes, will need to incorporate regional and taxonomic differences in the response to temperature.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 26 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 32 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 32 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 6 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 13%
Student > Master 3 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 1 3%
Other 1 3%
Other 2 6%
Unknown 15 47%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 11 34%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 13%
Environmental Science 2 6%
Social Sciences 1 3%
Unknown 14 44%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 75. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 February 2024.
All research outputs
of 25,920,652 outputs
Outputs from Ecology
of 6,934 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 426,587 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Ecology
of 88 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,920,652 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 6,934 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 14.1. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 426,587 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 88 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.