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Data from: Thermal physiology responds to interannual temperature shifts in a montane horned lizard, Phrynosoma orbiculare

Citation

Bodensteiner, Brooke et al. (2021), Data from: Thermal physiology responds to interannual temperature shifts in a montane horned lizard, Phrynosoma orbiculare, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dv41ns1vz

Abstract

As climate change marches on, rapidly rising temperatures shatter records every year, presenting ever‐growing physiological challenges to organisms worldwide. Ectotherms rely on behavioral and physiological plasticity to contend with environmental fluctuations. Nonetheless, our understanding of thermal plasticity has been largely limited to laboratory settings. Here, we test whether aspects of thermal physiology respond to interannual shifts in thermal environment in a natural population of Phrynosoma orbiculare, a montane horned lizard, from Hidalgo, Mexico. At our field site, 2019 was markedly warmer than the year that preceded it. We detected population‐level increases in three key thermal physiological traits: preferred temperature, the critical thermal minimum, and the critical thermal maximum. Thus, thermal phenotypes appear to shift in tandem in response to environmental fluctuations. A subset of individuals were resampled across years, allowing insight into plastic shifts within an organism's lifetime. We detected parallel increases in these lizards for the preferred temperature and the critical thermal minimum, but not for the critical thermal maximum. Our results support a growing body of literature indicating that preferred conditions and cold tolerance can be highly labile over the course of an organism's lifetime, whereas hardening over shorter time periods is more common for heat tolerance. Given that heat tolerance increased at the population‐level, but not in resampled individuals, it is possible that rapid evolution occurred due to temperature increases. In short, physiological shifts can be observed in natural populations over relatively short timespans, and these shifts might reflect a combination of evolutionary and acclimatory responses.

Usage Notes

This data package contains raw data files associated with "Thermal physiology responds to interannual temperature shifts in a montane horned lizard, Phrynosoma orbiculare"  by Domínguez‐Guerrero and colleagues. These data comprise phentoypic traits data and meterological data.