Interaction of hydric and thermal conditions drive geographic variation in thermoregulation in a widespread lizard

Type Article
Date 2021-05
Language English
Author(s) Rozen-Rechels David1, 10, Rutschmann AlexisORCID2, Dupoue AndreazORCID1, Blaimont Pauline3, 4, Chauveau Victor1, Miles Donald B.5, Guillon MichaelORCID6, Richard Murielle7, Badiane ArnaudORCID1, Meylan Sandrine1, 8, Clobert Jean7, Le Galliard Jean-FrancoisORCID1, 9
Affiliation(s) 1 : Sorbonne Univ, CNRS, IRD, INRA,Inst Ecol & Sci Environm IEES, 4 Pl Jussieu, F-75005 Paris, France.
2 : Univ Auckland, Sch Biol Sci, 3A Symonds St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
3 : Univ Calif Santa Cruz, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, 1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA.
4 : Rider Univ, Dept Biol, 2083 Lawrenceville Rd, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 USA.
5 : Ohio Univ, Dept Biol Sci, Athens, OH 45701 USA.
6 : La Rochelle Univ, Ctr Etud Biol Chize, CNRS, 405 Route Prisse Charriere, F-79360 Villiers En Bois, France.
7 : CNRS, Stn Ecol Theor & Expt SETE, USR5321, F-09200 Moulis, France.
8 : Sorbonne Univ, ESPE Paris, 10 Rue Molitor, F-75016 Paris, France.
9 : PSL Univ, Dept Biol, Ecole Normale Super,CNRS, Ctr Rech Ecol Expt & Predict CEREEP Ecotron IleDe, F-77140 St Pierre Les Nemours, France.
10 : Max Planck Inst Anim Behav, Dept Collect Behav, Univ Str 10, D-78457 Constance, Germany.
Source Ecological Monographs (0012-9615) (Wiley), 2021-05 , Vol. 91 , N. 2 , P. e01440 (19p.)
DOI 10.1002/ecm.1440
WOS© Times Cited 15
Keyword(s) body temperature, elevational gradient, landscape heterogeneity, moisture gradient, non-avian reptiles

Behavioral thermoregulation is an efficient mechanism to buffer the physiological effects of climate change. Thermal ecology studies have traditionally tested how thermal constraints shape thermoregulatory behaviors without accounting for the potential major effects of landscape structure and water availability. Thus, we lack a general understanding of the multifactorial determinants of thermoregulatory behaviors in natural populations. In this study, we quantified the relative contribution of elevation, thermal gradient, moisture gradient, and landscape structure in explaining geographic variation in thermoregulation strategies of a terrestrial ectotherm species. We measured field-active body temperature, thermal preferences, and operative environmental temperatures to calculate thermoregulation indices, including thermal quality of the habitat and thermoregulation efficiency for a very large sample of common lizards (Zootoca vivipara) from 21 populations over 3 yr across the Massif Central mountain range in France. We used an information-theoretic approach to compare eight a priori thermo-hydroregulation hypotheses predicting how behavioral thermoregulation should respond to environmental conditions. Environmental characteristics exerted little influence on thermal preference with the exception that females from habitats with permanent access to water had lower thermal preferences. Field body temperatures and accuracy of thermoregulation were best predicted by the interaction between air temperature and a moisture index. In mesic environments, field body temperature and thermoregulation accuracy increased with air temperature, but they decreased in drier habitats. Thermoregulation efficiency (difference between thermoregulation inaccuracy and the thermal quality of the habitat) was maximized in cooler and more humid environments and was mostly influenced by the thermal quality of the habitat. Our study highlights complex patterns of variation in thermoregulation strategies, which are mostly explained by the interaction between temperature and water availability, independent of the elevation gradient or thermal heterogeneity. Although changes in landscape structure were expected to be the main driver of extinction rate of temperate zone ectotherms with ongoing global change, we conclude that changes in water availability coupled with rising temperatures might have a drastic impact on the population dynamics of some ectotherm species.

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Rozen-Rechels David, Rutschmann Alexis, Dupoue Andreaz, Blaimont Pauline, Chauveau Victor, Miles Donald B., Guillon Michael, Richard Murielle, Badiane Arnaud, Meylan Sandrine, Clobert Jean, Le Galliard Jean-Francois (2021). Interaction of hydric and thermal conditions drive geographic variation in thermoregulation in a widespread lizard. Ecological Monographs, 91(2), e01440 (19p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :