Living in the Southern Hemisphere has several advantages. It means ready access to relatively wild, undisturbed, and animal-rich areas, a climate where the seasonal variation is usually not vast but where every year brings something of a surprise, and an extensive body of water, the Southern Ocean, that is alive with riches should one choose to venture out onto it. However, living in the south also has several disadvantages. Like-minded scientists often live a day or more's travel away, editors have until recently tended to view the equator as something of an asymmetric barrier, and local biological meetings almost inevitably leave certain areas, such as insect physiology, scratching about for an audience, if not for speakers. It is the latter disadvantage that provided the initial impetus for this book. The field of insect physiological ecology, at least in southern Africa, is small. In consequence, we regularly found ourselves in the same sessions at the biennial zoological or entomological meetings, each presenting a rather different perspective on physiological ecology: one more mechanistic, the other more comparative. Our interactions over at least a decade of meetings, both locally and abroad, have shown that these perspectives have much to offer each other. Moreover, our discussions have mirrored a growing realization in the field as a whole that an integration of mechanistic and broader-scale comparative physiology can result in novel and unexpected insights. One of the main points of this book is to explore these insights. Along the way, we also hint at the idea that the Southern Hemisphere might differ from the north in more ways than those alluded to above. These differences are not only biologically interesting, but might also have profound consequences for the way in which humans attempt to manage the global experiment they have set in motion.
Like most other authors we have an intellectual debt. We owe much of the way we think about the world to discussions with Andy Clarke, Peter Convey, Trish Fleming, Kevin Gaston, Allen Gibbs, Sue Jackson, Jaco Klok, John Lighton, Gideon Louw, Lloyd Peck, Brent Sinclair, Ken Storey, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, and Karl Erik Zachariassen. We are grateful to them for the insights they have readily contributed. SLC is particularly indebted to Kevin Gaston for sharing many ideas and for the thousands of messages that have crossed the equator. Brent Sinclair and Ken Storey gave us permission to use figures they had drawn. Kevin Gaston, Allen Gibbs, Ary Hoffmann, Sue Jackson, Melodie McGeoch, Brent Sinclair, Graham Stone, and Art Woods read one or more chapters or the entire manuscript. We are grateful for their comments, which were helpful, challenging and insightful.
We thank the following for permission to reproduce figures from works they have published: Academic Press, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Physiological Society, Blackwell Publishing, Cambridge University Press, the Company of Biologists, the Ecological Society of America, Elsevier, Kluwer, the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Oxford University Press, the Royal Society, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, the Society for the Study of Evolution, Springer-Verlag, the University of Chicago Press and Wiley Interscience; also Tim Bradley for permission to reproduce Fig. 4.8. We are grateful to Sheena McGeoch and Anel Garthwaite for assistance with the figures.
Ian Sherman and Anita Petrie looked after publication. Ian provided much encouragement and advice throughout the project, and was unperturbed by our recent moves around South Africa, and one of us being appointed to departmental chair.
Our families were uniformly supportive, and endured busy weekends and few holidays, for which we are grateful.
Stellenbosch and Pretoria December 2003
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