Detrimental influence on performance of high temperature incubation in a tropical reptile: is cooler better in the tropics?

Bell, Kris, Blomberg, Simon and Schwarzkopf, Lin (2013) Detrimental influence on performance of high temperature incubation in a tropical reptile: is cooler better in the tropics?. Oecologia, 171 1: 83-91. doi:10.1007/s00442-012-2409-6


Author Bell, Kris
Blomberg, Simon
Schwarzkopf, Lin
Title Detrimental influence on performance of high temperature incubation in a tropical reptile: is cooler better in the tropics?
Journal name Oecologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0029-8549
1432-1939
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00442-012-2409-6
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 171
Issue 1
Start page 83
End page 91
Total pages 9
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract Global temperatures have risen over the last century, and are forecast to continue rising. Ectotherms may be particularly sensitive to changes in thermal regimes, and tropical ectotherms are more likely than temperate species to be influenced by changes in environmental temperature, because they may have evolved narrow thermal tolerances. Keelback snakes (Tropidonophis mairii) are tropical, oviparous reptiles. To quantify the effects of temperature on the morphology and physiology of hatchling keelbacks, clutches laid by wild-caught females were split and incubated at three temperatures, reflecting the average minimum, overall average and average maximum temperatures recorded at our study site. Upon hatching, the performance of neonates was examined at all three incubation temperatures in a randomized order over consecutive days. Hatchlings from the 'hot' treatment had slower burst swim speeds and swam fewer laps than hatchlings from the cooler incubation temperatures in all three test temperatures, indicating a low thermal optimum for incubation of this tropical species. There were no significant interactions between test temperature and incubation temperature across performance variables, suggesting phenotypic differences caused by incubation temperature did not acclimate this species to post-hatching conditions. Thus, keelback embryos appear evolutionarily adapted to development at cooler temperatures (relative to what is available in their habitat). The considerable reduction in hatchling viability and performance associated with a 3. 5 °C increase in incubation temperature, suggests climate change may have significant population-level effects on this species. However, the offspring of three mothers exposed to the hottest incubation temperature were apparently resilient to high temperature, suggesting that this species may respond to selection imposed by thermal regime.
Keyword Climate change
Developmental acclimation
Ectotherm
Performance
Phenotype
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 11 July 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 27 Jan 2013, 22:19:28 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences