Differential reproductive investment in co-occurring oviparous and viviparous common lizards (Zootoca vivipara) and implications for life-history trade-offs with viviparity

Recknagel, H. and Elmer, K. R. (2019) Differential reproductive investment in co-occurring oviparous and viviparous common lizards (Zootoca vivipara) and implications for life-history trade-offs with viviparity. Oecologia, 190(1), pp. 85-98. (doi: 10.1007/s00442-019-04398-w) (PMID:31062164) (PMCID:PMC6535419)

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Abstract

Live-bearing reproduction (viviparity) has evolved from egg-laying (oviparity) independently many times and most abundantly in squamate reptiles. Studying life-history trade-offs between the two reproductive modes is an inherently difficult task, as most transitions to viviparity are evolutionarily old and/or are confounded by environmental effects. The common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) is one of very few known reproductively bimodal species, in which some populations are oviparous and others viviparous. Oviparous and viviparous populations can occur in sympatry in the same environment, making this a unique system for investigating alternative life-history trade-offs between oviparous and viviparous reproduction. We find that viviparous females exhibit larger body size, smaller clutch sizes, a larger reproductive investment, and a higher hatching success rate than oviparous females. We find that offspring size and weight from viviparous females was lower compared to offspring from oviparous females, which may reflect space constraints during pregnancy. We suggest that viviparity in common lizards is associated with increased reproductive burden for viviparous females and speculate that this promoted the evolution of larger body size to create more physical space for developing embryos. In the context of life-history trade-offs in the evolution of viviparity, we suggest that the extent of correlation between reproductive traits, or differences between reproductive modes, may also depend on the time since the transition occurred.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Elmer, Professor Kathryn and Recknagel, Mr Hans
Authors: Recknagel, H., and Elmer, K. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Oecologia
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0029-8549
ISSN (Online):1432-1939
Published Online:06 May 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Oecologia 190(1):85-98
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
661581From egg-laying to live-bearing: Unravelling the genetics of a major evolutionary transitionKathryn ElmerNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/N003942/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED