Data from: Natural selection on thermal preference, critical thermal maxima and locomotor performance
Cite this dataset
Gilbert, Anthony L.; Miles, Donald B. (2017). Data from: Natural selection on thermal preference, critical thermal maxima and locomotor performance [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.16j5j
Climate change is resulting in a radical transformation of the thermal quality of habitats across the globe. Whereas species have altered their distributions to cope with changing environments, the evidence for adaptation in response to rising temperatures is limited. However, to determine the potential of adaptation in response to thermal variation, we need estimates of the magnitude and direction of natural selection on traits that are assumed to increase persistence in warmer environments. Most inferences regarding physiological adaptation are based on interspecific analyses, and those of selection on thermal traits are scarce. Here, we estimate natural selection on major thermal traits used to assess the vulnerability of ectothermic organisms to altered thermal niches. We detected significant directional selection favouring lizards with higher thermal preferences and faster sprint performance at their optimal temperature. Our analyses also revealed correlational selection between thermal preference and critical thermal maxima, where individuals that preferred warmer body temperatures with cooler critical thermal maxima were favoured by selection. Recent published estimates of heritability for thermal traits suggest that, in concert with the strong selective pressures we demonstrate here, evolutionary adaptation may promote long-term persistence of ectotherms in altered thermal environments.