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Variations in chemical sexual signals of Psammodromus algirus lizards along an elevation gradient may reflect altitudinal variation in microclimatic conditions

AuthorsMartín Rueda, José ; Zamora-Camacho, Francisco J.; Reguera, Senda; López Martínez, Pilar ; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio
KeywordsWaxy esters
Femoral gland secretions
Fatty acids
Elevational variation
Issue DateApr-2017
CitationNaturwissenschaften 104(3-4): 16 (2017)
AbstractChemical signals used in intraspecific communication are expected to evolve or to show phenotipic plasticity to maximize efficacy in the climatic conditions of a given environment. Elevational environmental gradients in mountains provide a good opportunity to test this hypothesis by examining variation in characteristics of signals in species found across different elevations with different climatic conditions. We analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) the lipophilic fraction of the femoral gland secretions of male lizards Psammodromus algirus (Fam. Lacertidae) from six localities located along a 2200 m elevational gradient at Sierra Nevada Mountains (SE Spain). There was elevational clinal variation in climatic variables, number of femoral pores and in the relative proportions of some classes of compounds (i.e., ethyl esters of fatty acids, waxy esters, and aldehydes) but not others. We discuss how this variation would result in different physicochemical properties of the entire femoral secretion, which might help optimize the efficacy of chemical signals under the particular microclimatic conditions at each elevation.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00114-017-1442-z
issn: 1432-1904
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