body temperature

behavioral thermoregulation in lizards: importance of associated costs

Raymond B. Huey
Behavioral Thermoregulation in Lizards: Importance of Associated Costs
Science 31 May 1974:
Vol. 184 no. 4140 pp. 1001-1003
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4140.1001

Abstract: 
The Puerto Rican lizard Anolis cristatellus behaviorally regulates body temperature in an open habitat but passively tolerates lower and more variable temperatures in an adjacent forest where basking sites are few and distant. Thermoregulation may be adaptive only when costs resulting from associated losses of time and energy are low.

Why tropical forest lizards are vulnerable to climate warming

Huey, R.B. et al. (2009) Why tropical forest lizards are vulnerable to
climate warming. Proc. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. 276, 1939–1948

Abstract: 
Biological impacts of climate warming are predicted to increase with latitude, paralleling increases in warming. However, the magnitude of impacts depends not only on the degree of warming but also on the number of species at risk, their physiological sensitivity to warming and their options for behavioural and physiological compensation. Lizards are useful for evaluating risks of warming because their thermal biology is well studied.We conducted macrophysiological analyses of diurnal lizards from diverse latitudes plus focal species analyses of Puerto Rican Anolis and Sphaerodactyus. Although tropical lowland lizards live in environments that are warm all year, macrophysiological analyses indicate that some tropical lineages (thermoconformers that live in forests) are active at low body temperature and are intolerant of warm temperatures. Focal species analyses show that some tropical forest lizards were already experiencing stressful body temperatures in summer when studied several decades ago. Simulations suggest that warming will not only further depress their physiological performance in summer, but will also enable warm-adapted, open-habitat competitors and predators to invade forests. Forest lizards are key components of tropical ecosystems, but appear vulnerable to the cascading physiological and ecological effects of climate warming, even though rates of tropical warming may be relatively low.
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