Impact of temperature on performance in two species of South African dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion pumilum and B. occidentale
Journal of Experimental Biology
UMR 7179 C.N.R.S./M.N.H.N., Département D'Ecologie et de Gestion de la Biodiversité, 57 rue Cuvier, Case postale 55, 75231, Paris Cedex 5, France; Applied Biodiversity Research Division, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X7, Claremont, Cape Town, Western Cape 7735, South Africa; Department of Botany and Zoology, University of Stellenbosch, Matieland 7602, South Africa; Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium; Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape 6031, South Africa
Temperature is an extrinsic factor that influences reptile behavior because of its impact on reptile physiology. Understanding the impact of temperature on performance traits is important as it may affect the ecology and fitness of ectothermic animals such as reptiles. Here, we examined the temperature dependence of performance in two species of South African dwarf chameleon (Bradypodion): one adapted to a semi-arid environment and one to a mesic environment. Ecologically relevant performance traits were tested at different temperatures to evaluate their thermal dependence, and temperature-performance breadths for 80% and 90% of each performance trait were calculated. Our results show distinct differences in the thermal dependence of speed- versus force-related performance traits. Moreover, our results show that the semi-arid species is better adapted to higher temperatures and as such has a better chance of coping with the predicted increases in environmental temperature. The mesic area-adapted species seems to be more sensitive to an increase in temperature and could therefore potentially be threatened by the predicted future climate change. However, further studies investigating the potential for acclimation in chameleons are needed to better understand how animals may respond to future climate change. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
adaptation; animal; article; behavior; climate change; female; lizard; male; mastication; physiology; reptile; South Africa; species difference; temperature; adaptation; behavior; climate change; reptile; temperature; Animals; Bite Force; Female; Lizards; Male; South Africa; Species Specificity; Temperature