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See detailDetrimental effect of temperature increase on the fitness of an amphibian (Lissotriton helveticus)
Galloy, Valérie ULg; Denoël, Mathieu ULg

in Acta Oecologica: International Journal of Ecology (2010), 36(2), 179-183

Increases of global temperatures have resulted in measurable shifts in the distribution, phenology and survival of some plant and animal species. However, the mechanisms showing links between global ... [more ▼]

Increases of global temperatures have resulted in measurable shifts in the distribution, phenology and survival of some plant and animal species. However, the mechanisms showing links between global warming and biodiversity declines remain unclear. The aim of this study was to examine whether a key parameter of fitness, i.e. offspring number, could be affected by a temperature increase. To this end, we compared egg-laying traits at naturally occurring temperatures (14 °C, 18 °C and 22 °C) in palmate newts, Lissotriton helveticus. Our study suggests that water temperature increase has a negative effect on the fecundity of female newts. Females lay half as many eggs at high temperatures as they do at low temperatures, which results in a lower number of hatchlings. This study shows that global warming would affect amphibian populations. It complements other studies in pointing out that changes in phenology may not be driven only by warmer earlier temperatures but also by counter-selection during late-breeding, particularly in long-term breeders such as newts. More experimental studies should be carried out to understand the complex consequences of global warming and the proximate mechanisms of amphibian decline. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of temperature increase on the courtship behavior and the fitness in the Palmate newt
Galloy, Valérie ULg; Lo Presti, Wendy; Denoël, Mathieu ULg

Poster (2008)

A trend in global warming is now undeniable. Increases of global temperatures have resulted in measurable shifts in the distribution, phenology and survival of some plant and animal species. However, the ... [more ▼]

A trend in global warming is now undeniable. Increases of global temperatures have resulted in measurable shifts in the distribution, phenology and survival of some plant and animal species. However, the mechanisms showing the link between global warming and declines remain unclear. The aim of this study was to examine whether courtship displays and fitness could be affected by a temperature increase. To this end, we compared the sexual behavior and egg-laying traits at naturally occurring temperatures (14 C, 18 C and 22 C) in palmate newts (Triturus helveticus). First, our results underline the importance of female role in the male courtships. The majority of male behaviors are affected by the female responsiveness, which is temperature dependent. They also show that water temperature increase has a negative effect on the fecundity of female newts. Females lay half as many eggs at high temperatures as they do at low temperatures and of these only one third hatch. The demonstration of such a detrimental effect shows that more experimental studies are required to understand the proximate mechanisms of global warming. [less ▲]

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