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Bayla Arietta

Illustration for Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Read full paper here.

All organisms modify their local conditions by exchanging materials and energy with their environments. Many organisms also induce or build external structures around themselves, which are considered extended phenotypes.

External structures play central roles in determining the microclimates that organisms experience. Depending on their materials, architecture, and location, they may buffer or amplify local climate variability and macroclimatic change. To date, however, no general frameworks are available for predicting the microclimatic effects of these structures.

The importance of extended phenotypes during climate change will depend on whether they exhibit adaptive plasticity and how rapidly they evolve in response to climate variability.

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