Does acclimation at higher temperatures affect the locomotor performance of one of the southernmost reptiles in the world?
How to Cite
Fernández, J., & Ibargüengoytía, N. (2012). Does acclimation at higher temperatures affect the locomotor performance of one of the southernmost reptiles in the world?. Acta Herpetologica, 7(2), 281–296. https://doi.org/10.13128/Acta_Herpetol-10772
AbstractWhen an animal in the laboratory experiences a change in temperature, physiological processes are affected but they stabilize under the new temperature condition over a few weeks by a process of phenotypic plasticity called acclimation, but whether an organism can acclimate or not depends on the trait and the taxon. Liolaemus sarmientoi is one of the southernmost reptiles in the world, inhabiting the extreme and arid environment of Patagonia, Argentina, characterised by great seasonal climatic variation and cold air temperatures throughout the year (mean air temperature of 8 °C; ranging from 1.2 to 14.1 °C). However, these lizards prefer body temperatures in the laboratory ranging from 26.3 to 37.8 °C (mean Tpref = 34.4 ± 0.28 °C), temperatures that they rarely achieve in nature. Herein, we explore the effects of thermal acclimation on performance of L. sarmientoi at a temperature higher than their mean natural environmental temperature during their activity period (austral spring-summer). We analysed the speed in sprint and long runs at medium and high temperatures in the field and again after a period of acclimation of 20 days at 21 °C. Acclimation to higher and constant temperature resulted in a decrease in running speed in both long and sprint runs, suggesting potentially negative effects for natural populations if environmental temperature increases.
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