Predicting the effects of climate change on incubation in reptiles: methodological advances and new directions
Iowa State University, USA and Michigan State University, USA
The seasonal timing, extent, and variance of thermal conditions is accelerating globally. How such current and predicted macro-climatic conditions translate to temperature traces at subterranean nest depth is insufficiently understood. How these daily and seasonally fluctuating nest temperatures might predictably influence embryonic and offspring phenotypes and fitness is even more inadequately characterized. Combining long-term field data with microclimate and biophysical modeling allows us to predict incubation conditions and phenotypic outcomes for a variety of reptile species across space and time and for any climate scenario. We also explore how maternal behavioral/physiological shifts can alter the abiotic conditions experienced by developing embryos and the resulting phenotypic/fitness consequences.