Visualizing hotspots: Applying thermal imaging to monitor internal temperatures in intertidal gastropods

Stefan Caddy-Retalic, Kirsten Benkendorff, Peter Fairweather

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Investigating the impacts of climate change highlights a need to rapidly quantify an organism's thermal environment. We investigated the reliability of non-contact thermal imaging for measuring temperatures in an intertidal gastropod. Thermal maxima from images of either dorsal or ventral surfaces correlated strongly with invasive temperature-probe readings, producing highly significant regression models to predict mantle temperatures from thermal images. Thermal imaging was then fieldtested to non-invasively examine temperature changes of snails relative to their substrate: those exposed to sunlight had a mean temperature 4-8°C above the substrate during the day but 2-4°C below at night. Thermoregulation was also tested in the laboratory: when exposed to 45°C for 24 hours, snails reached 35-44°C, significantly higher than those (18°C to 25°C) held at 25°C. Thermal imaging is reliable for rapidly measuring tissue temperatures in a shelled gastropod typical of intertidal environments, thus providing a powerful tool for testing hypotheses about thermal responses in the changing global environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)106-113
    Number of pages8
    JournalMolluscan Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


    • Climate change evaluation
    • Field measurement
    • Gastropoda
    • Nerita atramentosa
    • Novel methodology
    • Rocky seashore
    • Southern australia
    • Temperature trends
    • Thermal ecology


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