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Intraespecific variation in the locomotor performance of Tropidurus torquatus to determine its thermal sensitivity to global warming

Grant number: 14/00809-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Physiology of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Carlos Arturo Navas Iannini
Grantee:Carla Piantoni
Supervisor abroad: Donald Bailey Miles
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Ohio University, United States  

Abstract

Climate change projections for Brazil predict an increase in the mean air temperature of up to 6°C and a tendency of decrease rainfalls by 5-20% in 2071-2100. Predicting the responses of organisms to climate change is one of the many urgent challenges faced by contemporary eco-physiologists. Ectothermic vertebrates are particularly sensitive to global warming, as temperature changes could shift behavioral and physiological performance to suboptimal levels, restricting time for activity. Although sensitivity of a species or individual depends not only on their thermal tolerance limits, but also on their behavior, and genetic diversity, most tropical ectotherms live close to their thermal limits for optimal metabolic performance which makes them more vulnerable to thermal increments. We examine the hypothesis that vulnerability to rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns of the widespread Brazilian lizard, Tropidurus torquatus, is inversely related to latitude. The geographic variation in thermal sensitivity will be examined based on the shape of thermal performance curves of three populations along a latitudinal gradient. (AU)