DO LATITUDE, ELEVATION, TEMPERATURE, AND PRECIPITATION INFLUENCE BODY AND CLUTCH SIZES OF FEMALE COMMON FIVE-LINED SKINKS, PLESTIODON FASCIATUS (LINNAEUS, 1758)?
Keywords:Bergmann's rule, r- and K-selection, Resource Rule, Temperature-size Rule
Common Five-lined Skinks (Plestiodon fasciatus) have an extensive distribution that includes much of eastern North America. We examined 490 female specimens (274 with putative clutch sizes) from throughout the range to see if latitude, elevation, mean annual temperature, and/or mean annual precipitation affected body or clutch sizes. We predicted that larger females would produce larger clutches, latitude and elevation would negatively affect both body and clutch sizes, and that temperature and precipitation would exert a positive effect. Our results did not consistently support those predictions. Body size was positively associated with latitude, negatively associated with temperature, and not associated with elevation or precipitation. Clutch size was not related to female body size, but in most instances was positively associated with temperature and precipitation but negatively associated with elevation and latitude. Effectively K-selected in the North and r-selected in the South, body and clutch sizes in this species appear to be responding to different select.
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