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Thermoregulation of the lizard Barisia imbricata at altitudinal extremes: supplementary material

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journal contribution
posted on 04.03.2019, 10:45 by Natalia Fierro-Estrada, Yasmin Guadalupe González González, Donald B. Miles, Margarita Martínez Gómez, Andrés García, Isaías Hazarmabeth Salgado-Ugarte, Fausto R. Méndez de la Cruz
Ambient temperature is a primary factor affecting the physiology and activity of reptiles. Thermoregulation involves a series of mechanisms to maintain an organism's body temperature within a narrow range. The study of thermal ecology of lizards is relevant for understanding their distribution, life history, ecology and thermal requirements. Moreover, determining how species are able to attain physiologically active body temperatures in challenging environments is necessary for assessing the risk of extinction due to climate change, especially for threatened endemic species. We evaluated and compared the thermal ecology of two populations of the viviparous lizard Barisia imbricata, at contrasting elevations (2,200 and 3,700 m). We obtained variation in thermal data from winter through autumn for multiple years. We determined thermal efficiency indices based on field active body temperatures, preferred temperatures (in a thermal gradient), and operative environmental temperatures (according to null models). We also recorded substrate and air temperatures at the time of capture. Mean body temperature of both populations showed a positive correlation with environmental temperatures. We found significant seasonal differences in body temperature in both populations, and between body temperatures of the two populations. Our results suggest that B. imbricata is an eurythermic species and can thermoregulate actively at any given time. However, when environmental temperatures are within the range of preferred temperatures, the species does not engage in thermoregulatory behavior. This information expands knowledge on the range of possible thermal responses to environmental variation within a species.