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A global heterothermic continuum in mammals

Boyles, Justin G., Thompson, Amy B., McKechnie, Andrew E., Malan, Ezit, Humphries, Murray M. and Careau, Vincent 2013, A global heterothermic continuum in mammals, Global ecology and biogeography, vol. 22, no. 9, pp. 1029-1039, doi: 10.1111/geb.12077.

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Title A global heterothermic continuum in mammals
Author(s) Boyles, Justin G.
Thompson, Amy B.
McKechnie, Andrew E.
Malan, Ezit
Humphries, Murray M.
Careau, Vincent
Journal name Global ecology and biogeography
Volume number 22
Issue number 9
Start page 1029
End page 1039
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1466-822X
Keyword(s) heterothermy
heterothermy index
thermoregulatory scope
Summary Aim: The ability of endotherms to physiologically regulate body temperature (Tb) is presumed to be important in the adaptive radiation of birds and mammals. Recently, attention has shifted towards determining the extent and energetic significance of Tb variation documented in an ever-expanding list of species. Thus, we provide the first global synthesis of ecological and evolutionary correlates of variation in mammalian Tb. Location: World-wide Methods: We conducted a phylogenetically informed analysis of Tb variation using two complementary metrics, namely Thermoregulatory Scope (TS) and Heterothermy Index (HI), that treat Tb variation as a continuous variable. We included morphological (e.g. body mass), ecological (e.g. food habits) and environmental (e.g. latitude) correlates in the analysis. Results: Among 560 mammal species included in the TS analysis, Tb relates most strongly to body mass (included in all models), season (relative parameter weight: 0.95), absolute latitude (0.80) and hoarding behavior (0.72), with small-bodied, high latitude and non-hoarding species expressing the most Tb variation. Small-bodied and high latitude species also express a greater range of thermoregulatory patterns than large-bodied and low latitude species. Results were generally similar in HI analysis, but in summer the extent of heterothermy decreases with latitude. Main conclusions: Mammalian heterothermy is related to evolutionary history, climate conditions constraining minimum Tb, resource conditions mediating energy supply for maintaining high Tb, and latitudinal variation in the nature of seasonality. Our analysis further shows that traditional classification of mammals as hibernators, daily heterotherms or homeotherms is clouded or possibly misleading.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/geb.12077
Field of Research 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
060806 Animal Physiological Ecology
060604 Comparative Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 960201 Atmospheric Composition (incl. Greenhouse Gas Inventory)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Free to Read? Yes
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact