9.5 Extensions of the Climate Space Idea

The climate space concept can be extended in several ways which we will investigate in the exercises. Heller and Gates (1971) used it in a study of interspecific competition in the genus Eutamias (chipmunks). Spotila et al. (1973) were able to incorporate conduction, when they constructed the climate space of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Zervanos and Hadley (1973) used these diagrams in their studies of the thermoregulation of the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu). A word of caution is in order, however, concerning this representation of an animal’s thermal state. We have assumed thermal equilibrium throughout. Many poikilotherms regularly try to increase their body temperature. Homeotherms also gain and then lose heat diurnally and when exercising. Schmidt-Nielsen et al. (1957) found that the camel stores and releases heat on a daily basis. More careful field measurements will have to be made before the importance of the non-equilibrium states can be ascertained.