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From performance curves to performance surfaces: Interactive effects of temperature and oxygen availability on aerobic and anaerobic performance in the common wall lizard

Citation

Telemeco, Rory et al. (2022), From performance curves to performance surfaces: Interactive effects of temperature and oxygen availability on aerobic and anaerobic performance in the common wall lizard, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.73n5tb30p

Abstract

1. Accurately predicting the responses of organisms to novel or changing environments requires the development of ecologically-appropriate experimental methodology and process-based models.

2. For ectotherms, thermal performance curves (TPCs) have provided a useful framework to describe how organismal performance is dependent on temperature. However, this approach often lacks a mechanistic underpinning, which limits our ability to use thermal performance curves predictively. Further, thermal dependence varies across traits, and performance is also limited by additional abiotic factors, such as oxygen availability.

3. We test a central prediction of our recent Hierarchical Mechanisms of Thermal Limitation (HMTL) Hypothesis which proposes that natural hypoxia exposure will reduce maximal performance and cause the thermal performance curve for whole-organism performance to become more symmetrical.

4. We quantified thermal performance curves for two traits often used as fitness proxies, sprint speed and aerobic scope, in lizards under conditions of normoxia and high-elevation hypoxia.

5. In line with the predictions of HMTL, anaerobically-fueled sprint speed was unaffected by acute hypoxia while the TPC for aerobic scope became shorter and more symmetrical. This change in TPC shape resulted from both the maximum aerobic scope and the optimal temperature for aerobic scope being reduced in hypoxia as predicted.

6. Following these results, we present a mathematical framework, which we call Temperature-Oxygen Performance Surfaces (TOPS), to quantify the interactive effects of temperature and oxygen on whole-organism performance in line with the HMTL hypothesis. This framework is transferrable across traits and levels of organization to allow predictions for how ectotherms will respond to novel combinations of temperature and other abiotic factors, providing a useful tool in a time of rapidly changing environmental conditions.

Methods

These data are from measures made on adult male common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) at laboratories representing normoxia (low elevation, 432 m ASL) and hypoxia (high elevation, 2877 m ASL). Sprint performance data were collected using a 1-m racetrack outfitted with infrared sensors placed every 25-cm, with the highest speed for a 50-cm interval used in analysis. Carbon dioxide production data (resting and maximal metabolic rates) were measured with gas analyzers and calculated as the lowest average rate of carbon dioxide production in a 10-minute interval (mL CO2/min) and highest average rate of carbon dioxide production in a 15-second interval (mL CO2/min), respectively, using ExpeData software.

Funding

Laboratoire d’Excellence, Award: ANR-10-LABX-41

INTERREG POCTEFA ECTOPYR, Award: EFA031/15

European Union’s Horizon 2020, Award: 752299

California State University, Fresno

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung