A random walk in the park: an individual-based null model for behavioral thermoregulation

Vickers, Mathew, and Schwarzkopf, Lin (2016) A random walk in the park: an individual-based null model for behavioral thermoregulation. American Naturalist, 187 (4). pp. 481-490.

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Behavioral thermoregulators leverage environmental temperature to control their body temperature. Habitat thermal quality therefore dictates the difficulty and necessity of precise thermoregulation, and the quality of behavioral thermoregulation in turn impacts organism fitness via the thermal dependence of performance. Comparing the body temperature of a thermoregulator with a null (non-thermoregulating) model allows us to estimate habitat thermal quality and the effect of behavioral thermoregulation on body temperature. We define a null model for behavioral thermoregulation that is a random walk in a temporally and spatially explicit thermal landscape. Predicted body temperature is also integrated through time, so recent body temperature history, environmental temperature, and movement influence current body temperature; there is no particular reliance on an organism's equilibrium temperature. We develop a metric called thermal benefit that equates body temperature to thermally dependent performance as a proxy for fitness. We measure thermal quality of two distinct tropical habitats as a temporally dynamic distribution that is an ergodic property of many random walks, and we compare it with the thermal benefit of real lizards in both habitats. Our simple model focuses on transient body temperature; as such, using it we observe such subtleties as shifts in the thermoregulatory effort and investment of lizards throughout the day, from thermoregulators to thermoconformers.

Item ID: 43991
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1537-5323
Keywords: ectotherm, reptile, temperature, thermal performance, heterogeneity
Funders: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) , National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)
Projects and Grants: Agence Nationale Recherche (ANR) Indhet ANR-12-BSV7-0023
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 07:39
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410199 Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310403 Biological adaptation @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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