Aim Whether intraspecific spatial patterns in body size are generalizable across species remains contentious, as well as the mechanisms underlying these patterns. Here we test several hypotheses explaining within-species body size variation in terrestrial vertebrates including the heat balance, seasonality, resource availability and water conservation hypotheses for ectotherms, and the heat conservation, heat dissipation, starvation resistance and resource availability hypotheses for endotherms. Location Global. Time period 1970–2016. Major taxa studied Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Methods We collected 235,905 body size records for 2,229 species (amphibians = 36; reptiles = 81; birds = 1,545; mammals = 567) and performed a phylogenetic meta-analysis of intraspecific correlations between body size and environmental variables. We further tested whether correlations differ between migratory and non-migratory bird and mammal species, and between thermoregulating and thermoconforming ectotherms. Results For bird species, smaller intraspecific body size was associated with higher mean and maximum temperatures and lower resource seasonality. Size–environment relationships followed a similar pattern in resident and migratory birds, but the effect of resource availability on body size was slightly positive only for non-migratory birds. For mammals, we found that intraspecific body size was smaller with lower resource availability and seasonality, with this pattern being more evident in sedentary than migratory species. No clear size–environment relationships were found for reptiles and amphibians. Main conclusions Within-species body size variation across endotherms is explained by disparate underlying mechanisms for birds and mammals. Heat conservation (Bergmann's rule) and heat dissipation are the dominant processes explaining biogeographic intraspecific body size variation in birds, whereas in mammals, body size clines are mostly explained by the starvation resistance and resource availability hypotheses. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind species adaptations to the environment across their geographic distributions.

Unveiling the environmental drivers of intraspecific body size variation in terrestrial vertebrates / Henry, Erin; Santini, Luca; Huijbregts, Mark A. J.; Benítez‐lópez, Ana. - In: GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY. - ISSN 1466-822X. - (2022). [10.1111/geb.13621]

Unveiling the environmental drivers of intraspecific body size variation in terrestrial vertebrates

Santini, Luca
Conceptualization
;
2022

Abstract

Aim Whether intraspecific spatial patterns in body size are generalizable across species remains contentious, as well as the mechanisms underlying these patterns. Here we test several hypotheses explaining within-species body size variation in terrestrial vertebrates including the heat balance, seasonality, resource availability and water conservation hypotheses for ectotherms, and the heat conservation, heat dissipation, starvation resistance and resource availability hypotheses for endotherms. Location Global. Time period 1970–2016. Major taxa studied Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Methods We collected 235,905 body size records for 2,229 species (amphibians = 36; reptiles = 81; birds = 1,545; mammals = 567) and performed a phylogenetic meta-analysis of intraspecific correlations between body size and environmental variables. We further tested whether correlations differ between migratory and non-migratory bird and mammal species, and between thermoregulating and thermoconforming ectotherms. Results For bird species, smaller intraspecific body size was associated with higher mean and maximum temperatures and lower resource seasonality. Size–environment relationships followed a similar pattern in resident and migratory birds, but the effect of resource availability on body size was slightly positive only for non-migratory birds. For mammals, we found that intraspecific body size was smaller with lower resource availability and seasonality, with this pattern being more evident in sedentary than migratory species. No clear size–environment relationships were found for reptiles and amphibians. Main conclusions Within-species body size variation across endotherms is explained by disparate underlying mechanisms for birds and mammals. Heat conservation (Bergmann's rule) and heat dissipation are the dominant processes explaining biogeographic intraspecific body size variation in birds, whereas in mammals, body size clines are mostly explained by the starvation resistance and resource availability hypotheses. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind species adaptations to the environment across their geographic distributions.
2022
Bergmann's rule; body mass; ecogeographic rules; geographic variation; heat conservation; latitude; meta-analysis; resource availability; size clines; starvation resistance
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Unveiling the environmental drivers of intraspecific body size variation in terrestrial vertebrates / Henry, Erin; Santini, Luca; Huijbregts, Mark A. J.; Benítez‐lópez, Ana. - In: GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY. - ISSN 1466-822X. - (2022). [10.1111/geb.13621]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1662237
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