Evol Ecol Res 9: 527-546 (2007)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Master of them all: performance specialization does not result in trade-offs in tropical lizards

Brett A. Goodman,1* Andrew K. Krockenberger2 and Lin Schwarzkopf1

1School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811 and 2School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD 4878, Australia

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: brett.goodman@jcu.edu.au


Question: Does performance specialization lead to trade-offs among contrasting performance types?

Predictions: Evolutionary specialization for good performance at one task should result in relatively poor performance at contrasting tasks. We predicted that species with good sprinting ability would be relatively poor at the contrasting performance tasks of climbing, clinging, and jumping.

Organisms: Eighteen species of Lygosomine skinks from a diverse range of habitats in tropical Australia.

Methods: We measured four ecologically relevant modes of performance (sprinting, climbing, clinging, and jumping) and relevant morphological traits (e.g. body size, fore- and hind-limb length, body flatness).

Results: Contrary to predictions, phylogenetic analyses revealed a tight positive correlation between sprinting and climbing ability, climbing and clinging ability, and climbing and jumping. Sprinting, climbing, clinging, and jumping are presumably sufficiently similar tasks for scincid lizards for no trade-offs to be observed. There was no evidence that a flat body enhanced climbing in our study, but it may be related to energy efficiency in species from habitats that climb frequently on vertical surfaces.

Conclusions: The absence of trade-offs among performance traits, the converse to what has been observed for arboreal lizards (e.g. Anolis), suggests that such trade-offs are not general for lizards from all habitats or groups.

Keywords: ecomorphology, habitat specialization, performance, skinks, trade-offs.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2007 Brett A. Goodman. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.