Fitness benefits from climate change in a temperate lizard
Donald Nathaniel Clarke
May 11, 2011
Department or Program
Peter A. Zani
Temperate ectotherms have been predicted to benefit from climate change, but few data yet exist to verify these predictions, and most studies utilize a model of uniform annual temperature increase. In this study, I examine the effects of asymmetric climate warming in temperate ectotherms by subjecting female Uta stansburiana to differing nighttime temperature treatments during their reproductive cycle. I found that higher temperature s during the ovarian cycle increased the proba bility of reproductive success and decreased the duration of the cycle , but did not affect clutch size, egg mass, or relative clutch mass. Higher incubation temperatures increased h atchling size, and decreased the incubation period, but had no effect on incubation success . These findings indicate that higher temperatures during the breeding season could increa se reproductive output and subsequent fitness in temperate ectotherms.