Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
Journal or Book Title
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Interactions at all levels of ecology are influenced by the rate at which energy is obtained, converted, and allocated. Tradeoffs in energy allocation within individuals in turn form the basis for life-history theory. Here we describe tests of the influences of temperature, developmental environment, and genetic background on measures of growth efficiency and resting metabolic rate in an ectothermic vertebrate, the western terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans). After raising captive-born snakes from divergent life-history ecotypes on thermal regimes mimicking natural habitat differences (2#2 experimental design of ecotype and thermal environment), we measured oxygen consumption rate at temperatures spanning the activity range of this species. We found ecotypic differences in the reaction norms of snakes across the measured range of temperatures and a temperature-dependent allometric relationship between mass and metabolic rate predicted by the metabolic-level boundaries hypothesis. Additionally, we present evidence of within-individual trade-offs between growth efficiency and resting metabolic rate, as predicted by classic lifehistory theory. These observations help illuminate the ultimate and proximate factors that underlie variation in these interrelated physiological and life-history traits.
The University of Chicago
Gangloff, Eric J.; Vleck, David; and Bronikowski, Anne M., "Developmental and Immediate Thermal Environments Shape Energetic Trade-Offs, Growth Efficiency, and Metabolic Rate in Divergent Life-History Ecotypes of the Garter Snake Thamnophis elegans" (2015). Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications. 180.