Fruit fly will be a first-stage loser in a climate of greater extremes.

In a world first, Melbourne researchers have shown that many species of fruit fly won’t survive even a modest increase in temperature.

The research – published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by researchers from Monash University, the University of Melbourne and Danish collaborators – is part of an ongoing project to identify signatures of extinction risk, at the genetic level.

Dr Vanessa Kellerman, of Monash University’s molecular ecology research group, said the scientists looked at the heat resistance of 100 different species of fruit flies.

It was found that only a few species could withstand high temperatures, and that these species were all closely related – and had evolved in a more extreme climate.

Read full article: Biodiversity hopes dropping like (fruit) flies

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