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Data from: An identification of invariants in life history traits of amphibians and reptiles

Cite this dataset

Hallmann, Konstantin; Griebeler, Eva Maria (2020). Data from: An identification of invariants in life history traits of amphibians and reptiles [Dataset]. Dryad.


While many morphological, physiological, and ecological characteristics of organisms scale with body size, some do not change under size transformation. They are called invariant. A recent study recommended five criteria for identifying invariant traits. These are based on that a trait exhibits a unimodal central tendency and varies over a limited range with body mass (type I), or that it does not vary systematically with body mass (type II). We methodologically improved these criteria and then applied them to life history traits of amphibians, Anura, Caudata (eleven traits), and reptiles (eight traits). The numbers of invariant traits identified by criteria differed across amphibian orders and between amphibians and reptiles. Reproductive output (maximum number of reproductive events per year), incubation time, length of larval period, and metamorphosis size were type I and II invariant across amphibians. In both amphibian orders, reproductive output and metamorphosis size were type I and II invariant. In Anura, incubation time and length of larval period and in Caudata, incubation time were further type II invariant. In reptiles, however, only number of clutches per year was invariant (type II). All these differences could reflect that in reptiles body size and in amphibians, Anura, and Caudata metamorphosis (neotenic species go not through it) and the trend towards independence of egg and larval development from water additionally constrained life history evolution. We further demonstrate that all invariance criteria worked for amphibian and reptilian life history traits, although we corroborated some known and identified new limitations to their application.