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Since the transition from water to land, maintaining water balance has been a key challenge for terrestrial arthropods. We explore factors that allow terrestrial arthropods to survive within a variably dry world and how they shape ecological interactions. Detection of water and hydration is critical for maintaining water content. Efficient regulation of internal water content is accomplished by excretory and osmoregulatory systems that balance water intake and loss. Biochemical and physiological responses are necessary as water content declines to prevent and repair the damage that occurs during dehydration. Desiccation avoidance can occur seasonally or daily via a move to more favorable areas. Dehydration and its avoidance have ecological impacts that extend beyond a single species to alter trophic interactions. As climate changes, evolutionary and ecological processes will be critical to species survival during drought.


Joshua B Benoit, Kevin E McCluney, Matthew J DeGennaro, Julian A T Dow. Dehydration Dynamics in Terrestrial Arthropods: From Water Sensing to Trophic Interactions. Annual review of entomology. 2023 Jan 23;68:129-149

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PMID: 36270273

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