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Altitudinally divergent adult phenotypes in Iberian wall lizards are not driven by egg differences or hatchling growth rates

AuthorsOrtega, Jesús; López Martínez, Pilar CSIC ORCID ; Martín Rueda, José CSIC ORCID
Issue Date18-Dec-2014
CitationOecologia 177(2): 357-366 (2014)
Abstract© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. The interplay between ecological conditions and life histories has been widely acknowledged in vertebrates, particularly in lizards. Environmental conditions may exert different selective pressures and produce divergent phenotypes even in geographically and genetically close populations. The Iberian wall lizard constitutes a perfect model organism as it is considered a species complex with a complicated evolutionary history. Here, we focus on two proximate populations in which we examined adult morphology and reproductive investment of wild-caught lizards along a 500-m altitudinal gradient with contrasting environmental conditions, where adults show marked morphological differences in spite of being closely related. Also, we performed a common garden experiment to examine embryonic and hatchling growth. We focused on reproductive investment per clutch, incubation time, egg size, morphology and growth rate of hatchlings. Results showed clutch size differences between populations that were independent of the larger body size of highland females. However, there were no egg morphological differences between populations, except for egg width, and this difference disappeared after controlling for female body size. Hatchling lizards from both populations did not differ in morphology. Moreover, we did not observe differences between populations or sexes in hatchling growth. Overall, we provide evidence that the differences in adult body size and clutch size are not driven by size at hatching which is not contributed to by egg size, nor are intrinsic hatchling growth rates associated with the environmental conditions experienced in our common garden experiment, suggesting that adult phenotypes are not the result of intrinsic differences between populations.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00442-014-3185-2
issn: 0029-8549
e-issn: 1432-1939
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