Document Detail

Climate change and temperature-dependent sex determination: can individual plasticity in nesting phenology prevent extreme sex ratios?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18831689     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Under temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), temperatures experienced by embryos during development determine the sex of the offspring. Consequently, populations of organisms with TSD have the potential to be strongly impacted by climatic warming that could bias offspring sex ratio, a fundamental demographic parameter involved in population dynamics. Moreover, many taxa with TSD are imperiled, so research on this phenomenon, particularly long-term field study, has assumed great urgency. Recently, turtles with TSD have joined the diverse list of taxa that have demonstrated population-level changes in breeding phenology in response to recent climate change. This raises the possibility that any adverse impacts of climate change on populations may be alleviated by individual plasticity in nesting phenology. Here, we examine data from a long-term study on a population of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) to determine whether changes in phenology are due to individual plasticity and whether individual plasticity in the timing of nesting has the capacity to offset the sex ratio effects of a rise in climatic temperature. We find that individual females show plasticity in the date of first nesting each year, and that this plasticity depends on the climate from the previous winter. First nesting date is not repeatable within individuals, suggesting that it would not respond to selection. Sex ratios of hatchlings within a nest declined nonsignificantly over the nesting season. However, small increases in summer temperature had a much stronger effect on nest sex ratios than did laying nests earlier in the season. For this and other reasons, it seems unlikely that individual plasticity in the timing of nesting will offset the effects of climate change on sex ratios in this population, and we hypothesize that this conclusion applies to other populations with TSD.
Lisa E Schwanz; Fredric J Janzen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiological and biochemical zoology : PBZ     Volume:  81     ISSN:  1537-5293     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiol. Biochem. Zool.     Publication Date:    2008 Nov-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-11-03     Completed Date:  2009-01-29     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100883369     Medline TA:  Physiol Biochem Zool     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  826-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Greenhouse Effect*
Nesting Behavior
Sex Determination (Genetics)*
Sex Ratio*
Turtles / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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