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Monarchs, like many other organisms, face contemporary challenges of a rapidly changing climate. Their capacity to cope with the challenges of altered temperature and precipitation patterns, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, remains uncertain. We will explore the direct effects of climate on monarch development, reproduction, and lifespan. Climate can also affect monarchs indirectly, by altering the habitats and plant species on which they depend, or the distribution and abundance of their predators and parasites. We will use the outputs from several climate models to understand how these direct and indirect inputs might affect monarch migration and abundance in the future. Finally, we will explore the implications of the fact that climate change is occurring in concert with other environmental change, and the more hopeful fact that monarchs are very resilient insects.
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