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Length of activity season drives geographic variation in body size in a widely distributed lizard

Horvathova, Terezia; Cooney, Christopher; Fitze, Patrick; Oksanen, Tuula; Jelic, Dusan; Ghira, Ivan; Uller, Tobias LU and Jandzik, David (2013) In Ecology and Evolution 3(8). p.2424-2442
Abstract
Understanding the factors that drive geographic variation in life history is an important challenge in evolutionary ecology. Here, we analyze what predicts geographic variation in life-history traits of the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, which has the globally largest distribution range of all terrestrial reptile species. Variation in body size was predicted by differences in the length of activity season, while we found no effects of environmental temperature per se. Females experiencing relatively short activity season mature at a larger size and remain larger on average than females in populations with relatively long activity seasons. Interpopulation variation in fecundity was largely explained by mean body size of females and... (More)
Understanding the factors that drive geographic variation in life history is an important challenge in evolutionary ecology. Here, we analyze what predicts geographic variation in life-history traits of the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, which has the globally largest distribution range of all terrestrial reptile species. Variation in body size was predicted by differences in the length of activity season, while we found no effects of environmental temperature per se. Females experiencing relatively short activity season mature at a larger size and remain larger on average than females in populations with relatively long activity seasons. Interpopulation variation in fecundity was largely explained by mean body size of females and reproductive mode, with viviparous populations having larger clutch size than oviparous populations. Finally, body size-fecundity relationship differs between viviparous and oviparous populations, with relatively lower reproductive investment for a given body size in oviparous populations. While the phylogenetic signal was weak overall, the patterns of variation showed spatial effects, perhaps reflecting genetic divergence or geographic variation in additional biotic and abiotic factors. Our findings emphasize that time constraints imposed by the environment rather than ambient temperature play a major role in shaping life histories in the common lizard. This might be attributed to the fact that lizards can attain their preferred body temperature via behavioral thermoregulation across different thermal environments. Length of activity season, defining the maximum time available for lizards to maintain optimal performance, is thus the main environmental factor constraining growth rate and annual rates of mortality. Our results suggest that this factor may partly explain variation in the extent to which different taxa follow ecogeographic rules. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Ecology and Evolution
volume
3
issue
8
pages
2424 - 2442
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84887860336
ISSN
2045-7758
DOI
10.1002/ece3.613
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
c229e6b3-aa04-4bb5-929e-57298374cbd1 (old id 4738968)
date added to LUP
2014-11-07 15:28:28
date last changed
2019-05-19 03:43:51
@article{c229e6b3-aa04-4bb5-929e-57298374cbd1,
  abstract     = {Understanding the factors that drive geographic variation in life history is an important challenge in evolutionary ecology. Here, we analyze what predicts geographic variation in life-history traits of the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, which has the globally largest distribution range of all terrestrial reptile species. Variation in body size was predicted by differences in the length of activity season, while we found no effects of environmental temperature per se. Females experiencing relatively short activity season mature at a larger size and remain larger on average than females in populations with relatively long activity seasons. Interpopulation variation in fecundity was largely explained by mean body size of females and reproductive mode, with viviparous populations having larger clutch size than oviparous populations. Finally, body size-fecundity relationship differs between viviparous and oviparous populations, with relatively lower reproductive investment for a given body size in oviparous populations. While the phylogenetic signal was weak overall, the patterns of variation showed spatial effects, perhaps reflecting genetic divergence or geographic variation in additional biotic and abiotic factors. Our findings emphasize that time constraints imposed by the environment rather than ambient temperature play a major role in shaping life histories in the common lizard. This might be attributed to the fact that lizards can attain their preferred body temperature via behavioral thermoregulation across different thermal environments. Length of activity season, defining the maximum time available for lizards to maintain optimal performance, is thus the main environmental factor constraining growth rate and annual rates of mortality. Our results suggest that this factor may partly explain variation in the extent to which different taxa follow ecogeographic rules.},
  author       = {Horvathova, Terezia and Cooney, Christopher and Fitze, Patrick and Oksanen, Tuula and Jelic, Dusan and Ghira, Ivan and Uller, Tobias and Jandzik, David},
  issn         = {2045-7758},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {2424--2442},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Length of activity season drives geographic variation in body size in a widely distributed lizard},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.613},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2013},
}