Phenotypic Plasticity in the Relative Hind-Limb Growth of Lab-Reared Anolis sagrei: Replication of Experimental Results and a Test of Perch Diameter Preference

Date
2014-06
Authors
Langford, Gabriel J.
Macedonia, Joseph M.
Bessette, Christopher W.
Matey, Jennifer L.
Raboin, Brittany A.
Schiffmacher, Ashley E.
Reynolds, Brett J.
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Abstract
Several observational and experimental studies have shown that perch diameter has an impact on the development of hind-limb length (HL) in Anolis species. This 'phenotypic plasticity' in relative hind-limb growth (RHG) has implications for short-term and long-term adaptation to different structural habitats. Our study is the first to replicate research in which hatchling/juvenile Anolis sagrei were reared on narrow-diameter or broad-diameter dowels in a laboratory setting. Although subjects reared on different dowel diameters did not differ significantly in RHG at 5 weeks into the experiment, results at 15 weeks revealed a significant effect of treatment but not of sex: subjects in the broad ( N = 69) treatment group exhibited significantly greater RHG than did subjects in the narrow ( N = 61) treatment group. We extended this research with a novel follow-up study: we placed our lab-reared subjects into outdoor enclosures where they had a choice of narrow- or broad-diameter dowels on which to perch. Results showed that subjects in both treatment groups chose broad-diameter dowels as perches more often than narrow-diameter dowels. We offer several potential explanations for the strong preference of our subjects for broad-diameter dowels irrespective of the dowel diameter on which they were reared.
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Keywords
Phenotypic plasticity, Brown Anole, Reproduction, Lizards Physiology, Dowels, Niche (Ecology)
Citation
Langford, G. J., Macedonia, J. M., Bessette, C. W., Matey, J. L., Raboin, B. A., Schiffmacher, A. E., & Reynolds, B. J. (2014). Phenotypic Plasticity in the Relative Hind-Limb Growth of Lab-Reared Anolis sagrei : Replication of Experimental Results and a Test of Perch Diameter Preference. Journal of Herpetology, 48(2), 228-232. doi:10.1670/12-198
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