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Does incubation temperature fluctuation influence hatchling phenotypes in reptiles? A test using parthenogenetic geckos


Andrewartha, SJ and Mitchell, NJ and Frappell, PB, Does incubation temperature fluctuation influence hatchling phenotypes in reptiles? A test using parthenogenetic geckos, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 83, (4) pp. 597-607. ISSN 1522-2152 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1086/652245


Many lineages of parthenogenetic organisms have persisted through significant environmental change despite the constraints imposed by their fixed genotype and limited evolutionary potential. The ability of parthenogens to occur sympatrically with sexual relatives may in part be due to phenotypic plasticity in their responses to their environment, especially with respect to incubation temperature - a maternally selected trait. Here we measured the incubation temperatures selected by two lineages of triploid parthenogenic geckos in the Heteronotia binoei complex by allowing them to deposit clutches along a thermal gradient. The average nest temperature selected was 28.4C, with no significant differences between parthenogenic races or individual clones. To investigate the effect of nest‐temperature variability on physiological and morphological traits, we incubated eggs from different races at one of four incubation regimes (32 0, 3, 5, or 9C). Embryos incubated at constant 32C developed faster than embryos reared under increasing extremes of diel temperature fluctuation (3, 5C), and incubation at 32 9C was unsuccessful. Incubation regime had no effect on the body size, preferred substrate temperature, or mass‐specific VO2 of hatchlings. However, parthenogenic race had a significant effect on egg mass, tail length, snout‐to‐vent length, total length, and VO2. We conclude that developmental traits are strongly influenced by clonal genotypes in this parthenogenic complex but are well buffered against fluctuations in incubation temperature.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal physiology - systems
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Andrewartha, SJ (Dr Sarah Andrewartha)
UTAS Author:Frappell, PB (Professor Peter Frappell)
ID Code:64668
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2010-08-16
Last Modified:2019-03-28

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