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Data from: Can newts cope with the heat? Disparate thermoregulatory strategies of two sympatric species in water

Citation

Balogová, Monika; Gvoždík, Lumír (2015), Data from: Can newts cope with the heat? Disparate thermoregulatory strategies of two sympatric species in water, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.tn32c

Abstract

Many ectotherms effectively reduce their exposure to low or high environmental temperatures using behavioral thermoregulation. In terrestrial ectotherms, thermoregulatory strategies range from accurate thermoregulation to thermoconformity according to the costs and limits of thermoregulation, while in aquatic taxa the quantification of behavioral thermoregulation have received limited attention. We examined thermoregulation in two sympatric newt species, Ichthyosaura alpestris and Lissotriton vulgaris, exposed to elevated water temperatures under semi-natural conditions. According to a recent theory, we predicted that species for which elevated water temperatures pose a lower thermal quality habitat, would thermoregulate more effectively than species in thermally benign conditions. In the laboratory thermal gradient, L. vulgaris maintained higher body temperatures than I. alpestris. Semi-natural thermal conditions provided better thermal quality of habitat for L. vulgaris than for I. alpestris. Thermoregulatory indices indicated that I. alpestris actively thermoregulated its body temperature, whereas L. vulgaris remained passive to the thermal heterogeneity of aquatic environment. In the face of elevated water temperatures, sympatric newt species employed disparate thermoregulatory strategies according to the species-specific quality of the thermal habitat. Both strategies reduced newt exposure to suboptimal water temperatures with the same accuracy but with or without the costs of thermoregulation. The quantification of behavioral thermoregulation proves to be an important conceptual and methodological tool for thermal ecology studies not only in terrestrial but also in aquatic ectotherms.

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