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Maternal basking opportunity affects juvenile phenotype in a viviparous lizard


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Wapstra, E 2000 , 'Maternal basking opportunity affects juvenile phenotype in a viviparous lizard' , Functional Ecology, vol. 14, no. 3 , pp. 345-352 , doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.2000.00428.x.

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1. The effects of external conditions on embryonic development have been repeatedly
examined in oviparous reptile species, but the effect of gestation conditions on offspring
traits in viviparous species has rarely been examined.
2. The influence of maternal basking opportunities on gestation length and juvenile
phenotype was investigated in a viviparous scincid lizard,
Niveoscincus ocellatus. Females were housed under one of two experimental regimes (10 or 4 h access to basking) which
reflected the natural variation in temperature, potentially one of the most important
proximate sources of life-history variation.
3. Females with longer access to basking gave birth significantly earlier than those
with reduced basking opportunities. Maternal access to basking significantly affected
the phenotype and growth rate of her offspring.
4. Offspring born after relatively rapid development were longer, heavier and in better
condition than offspring born after slower development.
5. In standard laboratory conditions, offspring born after rapid development grew
more rapidly than those born after slower development, thus amplifying the difference in
body size between these two groups postpartum.
6. These results suggest the existence of a strong selective pressure on female basking
behaviour through the effect of the maternal environment on embryo development
and offspring phenotype and highlight the role of temperature as a proximate source
of variation in both the timing of reproductive events and in key life-history traits of

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wapstra, E
Keywords: Gestation conditions, growth rate, life-history variation, maternal effects, phenotypic plasticity
Journal or Publication Title: Functional Ecology
ISSN: 0269-8463
DOI / ID Number: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.2000.00428.x
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