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Data from: Experimentally enhanced performance decreases survival in nature

Cite this dataset

Husak, Jerry F.; Lailvaux, Simon P. (2019). Data from: Experimentally enhanced performance decreases survival in nature [Dataset]. Dryad.


Superior locomotor performance confers advantages in terms of male combat success, survival, and fitness in a variety of organisms. In humans, investment in increased performance via the exercise response is also associated with numerous health benefits, and aerobic capacity is an important predictor of longevity. Although the response to exercise is conserved across vertebrates, no studies have tested whether non-human animals that invest in increased athletic performance through exercise realize a survival advantage in nature. Green anole lizards respond to exercise training, and enhanced performance drives trade-offs with reproduction and immunocompetence. We released sprint-trained, endurance-trained, and untrained-control male and female green anole lizards into an isolated, urban island in New Orleans, LA, USA and monitored their survival. Sedentary controls realized a significant survivorship advantage compared to trained lizards. Our results suggest that locomotor capacity is currently optimized to maximize survival in green anoles, and that forcing additional investment in performance moves them into a suboptimal phenotypic space relative to their current environmental demands.

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