Meeting Abstract

P2.11  Saturday, Jan. 5  Does parasite load affect thermoregulation in a diverse clade of Caribbean anoles? CONOVER, A.E.*; MUÑOZ, M.M.; BORONOW, K; COOKE, E; SHIELDS, I; LANDESTOY, M.A.; LOSOS, J.B.; GASTEL, J; Stuyvesant High School; Harvard University; Harvard University; Trinity University; Harvard University; Sociedad Ornitologica de la Hispaniola; Harvard University; Stuyvesant High School asaconover@gmail.com

In light of rising environmental temperatures and predictions of further warming throughout the coming century, there is concern for the survival of many species worldwide. Ectotherms are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate warming as their performance (and fitness) is so tightly linked to temperature. Current models have attempted to predict the effect that a temperature increase could have on a thermoregulating ectotherm, but most lack population-level data on thermoregulatory ability or data on how geographic patterns in body condition (i.e., parasite load) affect behavioral strategies and body temperature. The cybotoid and distichoid clades of Hispaniolan trunk-ground anoles inhabit a wide range of habitats and thermal environments, ranging from sea level to over 2,500 meters. In this study we examine how thermoregulation varies across thermal environments and the effect parasite load has on basking behavior and activity rate in populations from each of these clades along two different elevational gradients—the Cordillera Central and the Baoruco Mountains. This study will help us understand the effects that multiple types of parasites have on anoles and help inform predictions on the anoles’ capacity to deal with climate change.