Climate-induced reaction norms for life-history traits in pythons

Ujvari, Beara, Shine, Richard, Luiselli, Luca and Madsen, Thomas 2011, Climate-induced reaction norms for life-history traits in pythons, Ecology, vol. 92, no. 9, pp. 1858-1864, doi: 10.1890/11-0129.1.

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Title Climate-induced reaction norms for life-history traits in pythons
Author(s) Ujvari, BearaORCID iD for Ujvari, Beara
Shine, Richard
Luiselli, Luca
Madsen, Thomas
Journal name Ecology
Volume number 92
Issue number 9
Start page 1858
End page 1864
Total pages 7
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Place of publication Ithaca, NY
Publication date 2011
ISSN 0012-9658
Keyword(s) dusky rat
extreme climatic events
food supply
liasis fuscus
life-history plasticity
phenotypic plasticity
rattus colletti
reaction norms
tropical australia
water python
Summary Climate change modelers predict increasingly frequent “extreme events,” so it is critical to quantify whether organismal responses (such as reproductive output) measured over the range of usual climatic conditions can predict responses under more extreme conditions. In a 20-year field study on water pythons (Liasis fuscus), we quantified the effects of climatically driven annual variation in food supply on demographic traits of female pythons (feeding rate, body size, body mass, and reproductive output). Reaction norms linking food supply to feeding rates and residual body mass were broadly linear, whereas norms linking food supply to female body size became curvilinear when a dramatic (flooding-induced) famine reduced the mean body size at sexual maturity. Thus, the reaction norms recorded over 16 years of “normal” (albeit highly variable) climatic conditions gave little insight into the population's response to a more extreme nutritional crisis.
Language eng
DOI 10.1890/11-0129.1
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C2.1 Other contribution to refereed journal
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