Data from: Female lizards choose warm, moist nests that improve embryonic survivorship and offspring fitness
Li, Shu-Ran et al. (2018), Data from: Female lizards choose warm, moist nests that improve embryonic survivorship and offspring fitness, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.28524
1. The fitness consequence of maternal nest-site choice has attracted increasing scientific attention, but field studies identifying the long-term effects of nest-site choice on offspring survival and reproductive success are still rare in vertebrates. 2. To investigate the consequences of nest-site choice in lizards, we quantified the thermal and hydric conditions of nest sites that were chosen by female toad-headed agama (Phrynocephalus przewalskii) in the desert steppe of northern China. We also determined the effect of nest-site choice on embryonic development and survival and on offspring growth, survival, and maturity by comparing the embryos and offspring from maternally and randomly chosen nest sites. 3. We found that female toad-headed agama chose warm and moist nest sites that improved the developmental rate and survivorship of embryos and promoted the post-hatching growth, sexual maturity, reproduction, and fitness of offspring, thereby improving their reproductive success. 4. Such studies on short-lived lizards across multiple stages of embryonic and postembryonic ontogeny are critical for fully understanding the fitness consequences of nest-site choice.