Here we combined controlled experiments and field surveys to determine if estimates of heat tolerance predict distributional ranges and phenology of different Drosophila species in southern South America. We contrasted thermal death time curves, which consider both magnitude and duration of the challenge to estimate heat tolerance, against the thermal range where populations are viable based on field surveys in an 8-yr longitudinal study. We observed a strong correspondence of the physiological limits, the thermal niche for population growth, and the geographic ranges across studied species, which suggests that the thermal biology of different species provides a common currency to understand how species will respond to warming temperatures both at a local level and throughout their distribution range. Our approach represents a novel analytical toolbox to anticipate how natural communities of ectothermic organisms will respond to global warming.
Date made available2022

Cite this