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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/44779

Title: Elevational variation in body-temperature response to immune challenge in a lizard
Authors: Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier
Reguera, Senda
Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Immunocompetence benefits animal fitness by combating pathogens, but also entails some costs. One of its main components is fever, which in ectotherms involves two main types of costs: energy expenditure and predation risk. Whenever those costs of fever outweigh its benefits, ectotherms are expected not to develop fever, or even to show hypothermia, reducing costs of thermoregulation and diverting the energy saved to other components of the immune system. Environmental thermal quality, and therefore the thermoregulation cost/benefit balance, varies geographically. Hence, we hypothesize that, in alpine habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms should show no thermal response, given that (1) hypothermia would be very costly, as the temporal window for reproduction is extremely small, and (2) fever would have a prohibitive cost, as heat acquisition is limited in such habitat. However, in temperate habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms might show a febrile response, due to lower cost/benefit balance as a consequence of a more suitable thermal environment. We tested this hypothesis in Psammodromus algirus lizards from Sierra Nevada (SE Spain), by testing body temperature preferred by alpine and non-alpine lizards, before and after activating their immune system with a typical innocuous pyrogen. Surprisingly, non-alpine lizards responded to immune challenge by decreasing preferential body-temperature, presumably allowing them to save energy and reduce exposure to predators. On the contrary, as predicted, immune-challenged alpine lizards maintained their body-temperature preferences. These results match with increased costs of no thermoregulation with elevation, due to the reduced window of time for reproduction in alpine environment.
Sponsorship: This work was funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación [project CGL2009-13185]. FJZC [AP2009-3505] and SR [AP2009-1325] were supported by two pre-doctoral grants from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (FPU programme). FJZC was partially supported by a Ramón Areces Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. GMR was partially supported by a grant of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Juan de la Cierva programme).
Publisher: Peerj INC
Keywords: Ecology
Evolutionary studies
Cost balance
Benefit balance
Immune system
Psammodromus algirus
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/44779
ISSN: 2167-8359
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Zamora-Camacho, F.J.; Reguera, S.; Moreno-Rueda, G. Elevational variation in body-temperature response to immune challenge in a lizard. PeerJ, 4: e1972 (2016). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/44779]
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