Experimental support for the cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation: The effects of predation risk and food supply

G. Herczeg, Annika Herrero, Jarmo Saarikivi, Abigél Gonda, Maria Jäntti, Juha Merilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Huey and Slatkin's (Q Rev Biol 51:363-384, 1976) cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation predicts variation in thermoregulatory strategies (from active thermoregulation to thermoconformity) with respect to the costs and benefits of the thermoregulatory behaviour and the thermal quality of the environment. Although this framework has been widely employed in correlative field studies, experimental tests aiming to evaluate the model are scarce. We conducted laboratory experiments to see whether the common lizard Zootoca vivipara, an active and effective thermoregulator in the field, can alter its thermoregulatory behaviour in response to differences in perceived predation risk and food supply in a constant thermal environment. Predation risk and food supply were represented by chemical cues of a sympatric snake predator and the lizards' food in the laboratory, respectively. We also compared males and postpartum females, which have different preferred or "target" body temperatures. Both sexes thermoregulated actively in all treatments. We detected sex-specific differences in the way lizards adjusted their accuracy of thermoregulation to the treatments: males were less accurate in the predation treatment, while no such effects were detected in females. Neither sex reacted to the food treatment. With regard to the two main types of thermoregulatory behaviour (activity and microhabitat selection), the treatments had no significant effects. However, postpartum females were more active than males in all treatments. Our results further stress that increasing physiological performance by active thermoregulation has high priority in lizard behaviour, but also shows that lizards can indeed shift their accuracy of thermoregulation in response to costs with possible immediate negative fitness effects (i.e. predation-caused mortality).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalOecologia
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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thermoregulation
predation risk
food supply
lizard
lizards
predation
gender
heat
food
chemical cue
body temperature
snake
cost
microhabitat
snakes
microhabitats
effect
cost-benefit
fitness
predator

Keywords

  • Body temperature
  • Thermoregulatory behaviour
  • Thermoregulatory strategy
  • Zootoca vivipara

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Experimental support for the cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation : The effects of predation risk and food supply. / Herczeg, G.; Herrero, Annika; Saarikivi, Jarmo; Gonda, Abigél; Jäntti, Maria; Merilä, Juha.

In: Oecologia, Vol. 155, No. 1, 02.2008, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herczeg, G. ; Herrero, Annika ; Saarikivi, Jarmo ; Gonda, Abigél ; Jäntti, Maria ; Merilä, Juha. / Experimental support for the cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation : The effects of predation risk and food supply. In: Oecologia. 2008 ; Vol. 155, No. 1. pp. 1-10.
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