From: BioMed Central via ScienceDaily
Published October 11, 2015 07:32 AM

Swedish sand lizards like climate change

Higher temperatures result in Swedish sand lizards laying their eggs earlier, which leads to better fitness and survival in their offspring, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

The findings indicate that climate change could have positive effects on this population of high-latitude lizard, but the authors warn that climate change is likely to affect a whole suite of traits, in addition to egg-laying date, which together would have an unknown combined effect on survival and reproductive success.

The global climate is changing more rapidly than ever before, with large effects on ecosystems, species and populations worldwide. Some species are able to adjust to these changes by adapting or dispersing to new locations, while others have been removed from their fitness peaks and have decreased in numbers. One of the most frequently reported responses to recent climate change are shifts in timing of lifecycle events, such as emergence from hibernation, migration and breeding (including egg-laying).

Lead author Gabriella Ljungstrom from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said: "Shifts in the timing of lifecycle events in response to climate change is widespread, but the crucial question is how this affects an animal or plant's fitness. Are these shifts adaptive and will thus help the population to persist under climate change, or not?

Sand lizard photo via Wikipedia.

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