Metamorphosis in an Era of Increasing Climate Variability

David Skelly and 3 other contributors

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    Most animals have complex life cycles including metamorphosis or other discrete life stage transitions, during which individuals may be particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors. With climate change, individuals will be exposed to increasing thermal and hydrologic variability during metamorphosis, which may affect survival and performance through physiological, behavioral, and ecological mechanisms. Furthermore, because metamorphosis entails changes in traits and vital rates, it is likely to play an important role in how populations respond to increasing climate variability. To identify mechanisms underlying population responses and associated trait and life history evolution, we need new approaches to estimating changes in individual traits and performance throughout metamorphosis, and we need to integrate metamorphosis as an explicit life stage in analytical models.