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Data from: The relative importance of predation risk and water temperature in maintaining Bergmann's rule in a marine ectotherm

Citation

Manyak-Davis, Anna; Bell, Tina M.; Sotka, Erik E. (2013), Data from: The relative importance of predation risk and water temperature in maintaining Bergmann's rule in a marine ectotherm, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7hg56

Abstract

Bergmann's rule - an increase in body size with latitude - correlates with latitudinal declines in ambient temperature and predation risk, but relatively few studies simultaneously explore the relative importance of these factors. Along temperate Atlantic shorelines, the isopod Idotea balthica from high latitudes are 53% longer on average than are isopods from low latitudes. When reared at 6°- 24°C, juveniles increased growth and development rates with temperature. Because the increase in growth rate with temperature outstripped increases in development rate, female size at maturity increased with temperature. This thermal sensitivity of growth cannot account for the latitudinal pattern in body size. Within temperature treatments, females from low latitudes reached sexual maturity at younger ages and at a smaller size than did females from higher latitudes. This shift in life-history strategy is predicted by latitudinal declines in predation pressure, which we tested using field-tethering experiments. Overall, isopods at low latitudes had a 44% greater mortality risk from daytime predators relative to isopods at higher latitudes. We conclude that a latitudinal gradient in predation risk, and not temperature, is principally responsible for Bergmann's rule in I. balthica. Increases in body size during future warming of oceans may be constrained by local patterns of predation risk.

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