Hydroregulation in a tropical dry-skinned ectotherm

Pintor, Anna F.V., Schwarzkopf, Lin, and Krockenberger, Andrew K. (2016) Hydroregulation in a tropical dry-skinned ectotherm. Oecologia, 182 (4). pp. 925-931.

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While temperature effects on species' vulnerability to climate change are well studied, desiccation effects receive comparatively little attention. In addition, we poorly understand the capacity of ectotherms, and especially reptiles, to control water loss rates behaviourally by selecting suitable microhabitats. This study examined water loss rates and behavioural hydroregulation in the tropical rainforest skink Carlia rubrigularis to assess whether this dry-skinned ectotherm actively avoids desiccation and whether trade-offs occur between desiccation avoidance and selection of optimal temperatures, as previously shown in amphibians. Higher temperatures elicited humid refuge choice despite placing individuals in suboptimal thermal conditions, as indicated by preferred substrate temperatures. This finding emphasizes the importance of water loss even for taxa traditionally assumed to be highly desiccation resistant, and highlights this factor's potential influence on vulnerability to climate change by limiting activity times or by restricting individuals to thermally suboptimal microhabitats.

Item ID: 46274
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1939
Keywords: desiccation threshold; climate change; water loss; skinks; lizards
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change (JCU CTBCC), National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Skyrail Rainforest Foundation (SRF)
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 01:15
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310912 Comparative physiology @ 33%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310907 Animal physiological ecology @ 34%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310402 Biogeography and phylogeography @ 33%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 50%
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