The global diversity and distribution of lizard clutch sizes

Meiri, Shai and Avila, Luciano and Bauer, Aaron M and Chapple, David G. and Das, Indraneil and Doan, Tiffany M. and Doughty, Paul and Ellis, Ryan and Grismer, Lee and Kraus, Fred and Morando, Mariana and Oliver, Paul and Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel and Ribeiro-Junior, Marco Antonio and Shea, Glenn and Torres-Carvajal, Omar and Slavenko, Alex and Roll, Uri (2020) The global diversity and distribution of lizard clutch sizes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 29 (9). pp. 1-16. ISSN 1466-8238

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Aim: Clutch size is a key life-history trait. In lizards, it ranges over two orders of magnitude. The global drivers of spatial and phylogenetic variation in clutch have been extensively studied in birds, but such tests in other organisms are lacking. To test the generality of latitudinal gradients in clutch size, and their putative drivers, we present the first global-scale analysis of clutch sizes across lizard taxa. Location: Global. Time period: Recent. Major taxa studied: Lizards (Reptilia, Squamata, Sauria). Methods: We analysed clutch-size data for over 3,900 lizard species, using phylogenetic generalized least-square regression to study the relationships between clutch sizes and environmental (temperature, precipitation, seasonality, primary productivity, insularity) and ecological factors (body mass, insularity, activity times, and microhabitat use). Results: Larger clutches are laid at higher latitudes and in more productive and seasonal environments. Insular taxa lay smaller clutches on average. Temperature and precipitation per se are unrelated to clutch sizes. In Africa, patterns differ from those on other continents. Lineages laying small fixed clutches are restricted to low latitudes. Main conclusions: We suggest that the constraint imposed by a short activity season, coupled with abundant resources, is the main driver of large-clutch evolution at high latitudes and in highly seasonal regions. We hypothesize that such conditions – which are unsuitable for species constrained to laying multiple small clutches – may limit the distribution of fixed-clutch taxa.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ashmole’s hypothesis, fecundity, fixed clutch size, geographic variation, Lack’s rule, latitude, reproductive strategy, seasonality, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Depositing User: Peter
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 04:17
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2023 02:58

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