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Comparing ecophysiological traits in two Podarcis wall lizards with overlapping ranges.

Carneiro, D., E. García-Muñoz, A. Kaliontzopoulou, G. A. Llorente & M. A. Carretero (2015) Salamandra 51(4). pp. 335-344.

In ectotherms, environmental factors shape the distribution of species mediated by ecophysiological constraints such as thermal requirements and water stress. Species with different distributions along an environmental gradient are expected to show contrasting  responses in thermal-gradient and water-stress lab experiments. We examined basic thermal and hydric physiological traits throughout the day in two related lizard species with different, but partially overlapping, distributions in the Iberian Peninsula: Podarcis liolepis (abundant but mostly restricted to northeastern Iberia) and P. muralis (restricted in Iberia but widespread across Europe). We expected P. liolepis to opt for higher preferred body temperatures and have lower water loss rates as compared to P. muralis. Surprisingly, results revealed no differences in preferred body temperatures between species or sexes. Conversely, interspecific differences in the temporal profiles of water
loss were found. Results suggest that water availability rather than thermal environment shapes the biogeographical patterns of both species.

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