Extending the cost-benefit model of thermoregulation: high-temperature environments

Vickers, Mathew, Manicom, Carryn, and Schwarzkopf, Lin (2011) Extending the cost-benefit model of thermoregulation: high-temperature environments. American Naturalist, 177 (4). pp. 452-461.

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Abstract

The classic cost-benefit model of ectothermic thermoregulation compares energetic costs and benefits, providing a critical framework for understanding this process (Huey and Slatkin 1976). It considers the case where environmental temperature (Te) is less than the selected temperature of the organism (Tsel), and it predicts that, to minimize increasing energetic costs of thermoregulation as habitat thermal quality declines, thermoregulatory effort should decrease until the lizard thermoconforms. We extended this model to include the case where Te exceeds Tsel, and we redefine costs and benefits in terms of fitness to include effects of body temperature (Tb) on performance and survival. Our extended model predicts that lizards will increase thermoregulatory effort as habitat thermal quality declines, gaining the fitness benefits of optimal Tb and maximizing the net benefit of activity. Further, to offset the disproportionately high fitness costs of high Te compared with low Te, we predicted that lizards would thermoregulate more effectively at high values of Te than at low ones. We tested our predictions on three sympatric skink species (Carlia rostralis, Carlia rubrigularis, and Carlia storri) in hot savanna woodlands and found that thermoregulatory effort increased as thermal quality declined and that lizards thermoregulated most effectively at high values of Te.

Item ID: 16011
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: cost-benefit model of thermoregulation, thermal quality, Carlia, skink, lizard, reptile.
ISSN: 1537-5323
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2011 03:06
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 11
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