Inter-population variation in life-history traits of a Chinese lizard (Takydromus septentrionalis, Lacertidae)

  • Du W
  • Ji X
  • Zhang Y
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Abstract

Detecting inter-population differences in life-history traits is the first step in exploring the proximate and ultimate causes of such variation. We measured maternal body size and reproductive output of the lacertid lizard Takydromus septentrionalis from two island populations in eastern China to quantify inter-population variation. We captured female T. septentrionalis from the field and conducted a “common garden” experiment in the laboratory to measure their reproductive output. The study revealed major divergences in female body sizes, clutch mass and egg mass, but no significant difference in these traits was found between the first clutch and the later clutches. This suggests that the inter-population divergences persisted when the same groups of females were maintained in identical conditions in captivity. In contrast, there were no inter- population differences in size-adjusted fecundities, clutch size and relative clutch masses. Therefore, maternal body size plays an important role in determining female reproductive output in this species, but it does not account for all variation in reproductive traits. The egg size is less variable than the clutch size in each population, which gives support to the optimal egg size theory

Author-supplied keywords

  • Body size
  • Fecundity
  • Inter-population variation
  • Offspring size
  • Reproductive output

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Authors

  • Wei G. Du

  • Xiang Ji

  • Yong P. Zhang

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