Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shade will be a precious resource to lizards in a warming world

Date:
March 10, 2014
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Climate change may even test lizards' famous ability to tolerate and escape the heat -- making habitat protection increasingly vital -- according to a new study by international biodiversity experts.

Climate change might send lizards, such as this, scrambling for shade.
Credit: Jennifer Sunday, UBC

Climate change may even test lizards' famous ability to tolerate and escape the heat -- making habitat protection increasingly vital -- according to a new study by UBC and international biodiversity experts.

The study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looks at the heat and cold tolerance of 296 species of reptiles, insects and amphibians, known as ectotherms. The researchers discovered that regardless of latitude or elevation, cold-blooded animals across the world have similar heat tolerance limits. However, species in the tropics rely more on behaviour to survive, burrowing or finding shade to shield themselves from the sun.

"By comparing temperature tolerance limits to estimated body temperatures of animals exposed to the sun, we've found that species at low latitudes rely on shade and habitat," says UBC climate-change ecologist Jennifer Sunday, lead author on the paper. "Very few species have any extra heat tolerance."

As the world warms, most ectotherms will rely increasingly on behavioral thermoregulation, making it vital to protect migration corridors and habitats that provide shade, especially in the tropics.

"We know that a lot of organisms could exist if they spent many hours in a burrow, but we also know that they can't spend all their time hiding from the sun," says Sunday. "We will have to determine their limitations."

Sunday recommends future research focus on the availability of shade habitat and the energetic consequences of the behavioral changes that climate change may cause in the species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. M. Sunday, A. E. Bates, M. R. Kearney, R. K. Colwell, N. K. Dulvy, J. T. Longino, R. B. Huey. Thermal-safety margins and the necessity of thermoregulatory behavior across latitude and elevation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1316145111

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Shade will be a precious resource to lizards in a warming world." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310152200.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2014, March 10). Shade will be a precious resource to lizards in a warming world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310152200.htm
University of British Columbia. "Shade will be a precious resource to lizards in a warming world." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310152200.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins