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Conservatism of lizard thermal tolerances and body temperatures across evolutionary history and geography.

TitleConservatism of lizard thermal tolerances and body temperatures across evolutionary history and geography.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGrigg JW, Buckley LB
JournalBiology letters
Date Published2013
KeywordsAdaptation, Physiological, Animal Distribution, Animals, Biological Evolution, Body Temperature, Body Temperature Regulation, Sexism, Geography, Lizards, Phylogeny, Species Specificity, Stress, Physiological, Temperature

<p>Species may exhibit similar thermal tolerances via either common ancestry or environmental filtering and local adaptation, if the species inhabit similar environments. We ask whether upper and lower thermal limits (critical thermal maxima and minima) and body temperatures are more strongly conserved across evolutionary history or geography for lizard populations distributed globally. We find that critical thermal maxima are highly conserved with location accounting for a higher proportion of the variation than phylogeny. Notably, thermal tolerance breadth is conserved across the phylogeny despite critical thermal minima showing little niche conservatism. Body temperatures observed during activity in the field show the greatest degree of conservatism, with phylogeny accounting for most of the variation. This suggests that propensities for thermoregulatory behaviour, which can buffer body temperatures from environmental variation, are similar within lineages. Phylogeny and geography constrain thermal tolerances similarly within continents, but variably within clades. Conservatism of thermal tolerances across lineages suggests that the potential for local adaptation to alleviate the impacts of climate change on lizards may be limited.</p>

Alternate JournalBiol. Lett.