Se reproduire dans un monde en mutation

Effets combinés des conditions thermiques diurnes et nocturnes et des contraintes hydriques pendant la gestation chez un lézard adapté au froid


Photo credit: George A Brusch IV, Ph.D.

La reproduction de nombreux organismes vivants est affectée par les changements climatiques et en particulier par les épisodes extrêmes des canicules estivales. Mais ces effets sont potentiellement complexes du fait des différents facteurs de stress impliqués dans le changement climatique. En effet, s’il est bien connu que les températures maximales dans la journée augmentent, les conditions thermiques nocturnes évoluent elles aussi rapidement. De plus les épisodes de chaleurs sont généralement associés à des sécheresses importantes et donc une pénurie d’accès à l’eau. Enfin, les températures plus élevées peuvent également avoir des répercussions positives sur l’acquisition des ressources mais aussi sur les besoins énergétiques des individus.

Les espèces spécialisées des climats froids comme le lézard vivipare (Zootoca vivipara) en France sont particulièrement exposées à ces modifications climatiques. Nous avons étudié de façon expérimentale dans une nouvelle étude la sensibilité de la reproduction de cette espèce de lézard aux effets combinés du réchauffement climatique et des sécheresses. A l’aide d’enceintes climatique installées au CNRS de Chizé, il a été possible de manipuler les conditions journalières et nocturnes contrastées (chaud /froid) et combiner ou non avec une privation partielle d’eau.

Les températures plus élevées ont eu de profondes répercussions sur les besoins énergétiques des femelles pendant la gestation avec une consommation accentuée d’insectes. Cependant, alors que les conditions chaudes en journée sont généralement favorables à la reproduction , le réchauffement nocturne a eu des effets négatifs sur l’état des femelles après la mise-bas. En parallèle, la simulation de sécheresse a eu des répercussions négatives quel que soit les conditions thermiques de jour et de nuit en entraînant une augmentation de la déshydratation et du rythme cardiaque. Ce travail suggère une déstabilisation des performances de reproduction quand les températures nocturnes augmentent de manière trop importante et invitent à reconsidérer le rôle de l’écologie nocturne chez ces espèces généralement étudiées de jour.


Brusch, G. A.; Le Galliard, J.-F.; Viton, R.; Gavira, R. S. B.; Clobert, J.; Lourdais, O. Reproducing in a Changing World: Combined Effects of Thermal Conditions by Day and Night and of Water Constraints during Pregnancy in a Cold-Adapted Ectotherm. Oikos 2022, e09536. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.09536.

Le réchauffement climatique accélère le vieillissement des lézards

Une étude publiée par notre équipe de recherche dans Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences révèle qu’une accélération du vieillissement s’associe au déclin démographique d’un lézard à cause de l’augmentation des températures. Nous avons constaté que les télomères, les extrémités protectrices des chromosomes, deviennent de plus en plus courts de génération en génération, ce qui implique que la progéniture naît avec un « capital vieillissement » de plus en plus faible. La dynamique des télomères devrait représenter un biomarqueur moléculaire de la disparition locale des espèces, et probablement une solution prometteuse pour évaluer les futures actions de gestion de la biodiversité.

Communication en Français: https://www.inee.cnrs.fr/fr/cnrsinfo/le-rechauffement-climatique-accelere-le-vieillissement-des-lezards

Article original: Andréaz Dupoué, Pauline Blaimont, Frédéric Angelier, Cécile Ribout, David Rozen-Rechels, Murielle Richard, Donald Miles, Pierre de Villemereuil, Alexis Rutschmann, Arnaud Badiane, Fabien Aubret, Olivier Lourdais, Sandrine Meylan, Julien Cote, Jean Clobert, Jean-François Le Galliard. Lizards from warm and declining populations are born with extremely short telomeres. PNAS. 2022

Les vertébrés à « sang froid » nous donnent une leçon sur le ralentissement du vieillissement

Notre équipe a récemment contribué à une publication d’un consortium international sur la longévité des reptiles dans la prestigieuse revue Science. Cette étude d’une ampleur inédite permet de “lever le voile sur le vieillissement des ectothermes. Utilisant les reptiles et amphibiens comme modèles d’étude, les chercheurs ont montré que ces organismes présentent une grande variabilité de leur vitesse de vieillissement et que de nombreuses espèces (salamandres, tortues) présentent un vieillissement très ralenti. Pour la première fois, ils ont exploré les mécanismes responsables de l’importante variabilité de la longévité et des taux de vieillissement chez ces animaux.” Retrouver un résumé des résultats de cet article dans le fil d’actualité sur le site web du CNRS !

La vipère d’Orsini est l’une des espèces intégrée dans la base de données de cette étude internationale (photo de M. Berroneau)

Référence

Reinke BA, Cayuela H, Janzen FJ, Lemaître JF, Gaillard JM, Lawing AM, Iverson JB, Christiansen DG, Martínez-Solano I, Sánchez-Montes G, Gutiérrez-Rodríguez J, Rose FL, Nelson N, Keall S, Crivelli AJ, Nazirides T, Grimm-Seyfarth A, Henle K, Mori E, Guiller G, Homan R, Olivier A, Muths E, Hossack BR, Bonnet X, Pilliod DS, Lettink M, Whitaker T, Schmidt BR, Gardner MG, Cheylan M, Poitevin F, Golubović A, Tomović L, Arsovski D, Griffiths RA, Arntzen JW, Baron JP, Le Galliard JF, Tully T, Luiselli L, Capula M, Rugiero L, McCaffery R, Eby LA, Briggs-Gonzalez V, Mazzotti F, Pearson D, Lambert BA, Green DM, Jreidini N, Angelini C, Pyke G, Thirion JM, Joly P, Léna JP, Tucker AD, Limpus C, Priol P, Besnard A, Bernard P, Stanford K, King R, Garwood J, Bosch J, Souza FL, Bertoluci J, Famelli S, Grossenbacher K, Lenzi O, Matthews K, Boitaud S, Olson DH, Jessop TS, Gillespie GR, Clobert J, Richard M, Valenzuela-Sánchez A, Fellers GM, Kleeman PM, Halstead BJ, Grant EHC, Byrne PG, Frétey T, Le Garff B, Levionnois P, Maerz JC, Pichenot J, Olgun K, Üzüm N, Avcı A, Miaud C, Elmberg J, Brown GP, Shine R, Bendik NF, O’Donnell L, Davis CL, Lannoo MJ, Stiles RM, Cox RM, Reedy AM, Warner DA, Bonnaire E, Grayson K, Ramos-Targarona R, Baskale E, Muñoz D, Measey J, de Villiers FA, Selman W, Ronget V, Bronikowski AM, Miller DAW. Diverse aging rates in ectothermic tetrapods provide insights for the evolution of aging and longevity. Science. 2022 Jun 24;376(6600):1459-1466. doi: 10.1126/science.abm0151.

Are two stressors worse than one?

Heatwaves and droughts are becoming more intense and frequent with climate change. These extreme weather events often occur simultaneously and may alter organismal physiology, yet their combined impacts remain largely unknown. Here, we experimentally investigated physiological responses of a temperate ectotherm, the asp viper (Vipera aspis), to a simulated heatwave and drought. We applied a two-by-two factorial design by manipulating the daily temperature cycle (control vs. heatwave) and the water availability (water available vs. water-deprived) over a month followed by exposure to standard thermal conditions with ad libium access to water. Simulated heatwave and water deprivation additively increased mass loss, while water deprivation led to greater plasma osmolality (dehydration). Mass gain from drinking after the treatment period was higher in vipers from the heatwave and water-deprived group suggesting that thirst was synergistically influenced by thermal and water constraints. Heatwave conditions and water deprivation also additively increased baseline corticosterone levels but did not influence basal metabolic rates and plasma markers of oxidative stress. Our results demonstrate that a short-term exposure to combined heatwave and drought can exacerbate physiological stress through additive effects, and interactively impact behavioral responses to dehydration. Considering combined effects of temperature and water availability is thus crucial to assess organismal responses to climate change.

This work was performed by Mathias Dezetter during his PhD project cosupervised with Olivier Lourdais at CNRS, Chizé.

Citation: Mathias Dezetter, Jean-François Le Galliard, Mathieu Leroux-Coyau, François Brischoux, Fréderic Angelier, Olivier Lourdais; Two stressors are worse than one: combined heatwave and drought affect hydration state and glucocorticoid levels in a temperate ectotherm. J Exp Biol 2022; jeb.243777. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.243777

Underappreciated acclimation capacities in long-lived vipers

In a 7-year experimental study, we emphasize the co-occurrence of physiological syndromes and phenotypic plasticity in physiological traits related to energy and water budgets in a long-lived ectothermic organism. Using climatic chambers at the CNRS CEBC laboratory in Chizé, we exposed asp vipers (Vipera aspis) to one of three thermal cycles (“warm”,”medium”,”cold”) over 4 years of early life, and then maintained all individuals in a common garden (“medium” cycle) for 3 years of adult life. We repeatedly measured the standard metabolic rate (SMR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) of the same individuals over their life, using respirometry systems. We found that individuals experiencing the warm cycle reduced their SMR (negative compensation) but flexibly adjusted their SMR to common garden conditions at adulthood. Thermal conditions during development led to changes in TEWL that persisted until adulthood In addition, plastic responses were combined with a physiological syndrome integrating functional traits related to water and energy balance: SMR and TEWL strongly co-varied both within and among individuals over their lifespan.

Vipera aspis
A wild asp viper (Vipera aspis) photographed by Mathias Dezetter

Long-lived terrestrial ectotherms may cope with ongoing climate changes by combining different pattern of plastic, adaptive responses to temperature variation, and responses to selection on physiological syndromes.

Olivier Lourdais and Andréaz Dupoué from CEBC Chizé designed the study and collected the data. Mathias Dezetter led the data analyses together with Olivier, myself and Andréaz. Find out more in our Functional Ecology paper below


Dezetter, M., Dupoué, A., Le Galliard, J.F. and Lourdais, O. (2021), Additive effects of developmental acclimation and physiological syndromes on lifetime metabolic and water loss rates of a dry-skinned ectotherm. Functional Ecology. Accepted Author Manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13951

Global database of water loss rates for reptiles

The understanding of physiological adaptations, of evolutionary radiations and of ecological responses to global change urges for global, comprehensive databases of the functional traits of extant organisms. The ability to maintain an adequate water balance is a critical functional property influencing the resilience of animal species to climate variation. In terrestrial or semi-terrestrial organisms, total water loss includes a significant contribution from evaporative water loss (EWL). The analysis of geographic and phylogenetic variation in EWL rates must however account for differences in methods and potential confounding factors, which influence standard measures of whole-organism water loss. We compiled the global and standardized SquamEWL database of total, respiratory and cutaneous EWL for 325 species and subspecies of squamate reptiles (793 samples and 2,536 estimates) from across the globe. An extensive set of companion data and annotations associated with the EWL measurements of potential value for future investigation, including metabolic rate data, is provided. We present preliminary descriptive statistics for the compiled data, discuss gaps and biases, and identify promising avenues to update, expand and explore this database.

The database can be accessed at a dedicated web site

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/geb.13355

Paper by David Rozen-Rechels made the cover of Ecological Monographs!

With ongoing global change, landscape structure changes are expected to be a driver of extinction rates of temperate zone ectotherms. In a recent study led by David Rozen‐Rechels (doi: 10.1002/ecm.1440) we found that changes in water availability, coupled with rising temperatures, might have a drastic impact on the population dynamics of some ectotherm species. This paper made the cover of the journal issue, Ecological Monographs. The selected photograph is an aerial view of the habitat for the studied population of the common lizard Zootoca vivipara (referenced as TIO in the study) at Mont d’Aubrac Massif in the mountain ranges of Massif Central in south‐central France, where grass, heather, and rocks provide a diversity of thermal micro‐habitats. Image taken with a Phantom 4 Pro drone (DJI, Shenzen, China) in July 2017 by J.-F. Le Galliard

Social costs and visual communication in lizards

According to animal signalling theory, social costs incurred by aggressive conspecifics are one mechanism maintaining signal honesty. Although our understanding of signal evolution has much improved for pigment-based colours, the mechanisms maintaining the honesty of structural colour signals, such as ultraviolet (UV), remain elusive. In a recent study led by master student Anna Kawamoto and post-doctoral collaborator Arnaud Badiane, we used the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) to test whether the honesty of UV-reflecting signals displayed on male throats is under social control. To do so, we staged agonistic interactions between non-manipulated focal males and opponents of either larger or smaller body size. We manipulated the UV component of the male throat colour patch to create small cheaters with UV-enhanced throats, large cheaters with UV-reduced throats, and their respective controls. In support of a conventional signal hypothesis, focal males were aggressive towards large cheaters and became submissive when these large cheaters retaliated, and were less submissive against small cheaters. However, that focal males were not more aggressive towards small cheaters contradicts our initial predictions. We confirm that male UV reflectance and bite force were good predictors of contest outcomes in control conditions. Overall, we provide partial evidence suggesting that social costs enforce UV signal honesty in common lizards.

Anna Kawamoto, Jean-François Le Galliard, Arnaud Badiane, The role of social costs as a mechanism enforcing the honesty of ultraviolet-reflecting signals in a lizard, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blab008

Effects of air humidity and water availability on thermal preferences of a lizard

Thermoregulation is critical for ectotherms as it allows them to maintain their body temperature close to an optimum for ecological performance. Thermoregulation includes a range of behaviors that aim at regulating body temperature within a range centered around the thermal preference. Thermal preference is typically measured in a thermal gradient in fully-hydrated and post-absorptive animals. Short-term effects of the hydric environment on thermal preferences in such set-ups have been rarely quantified in dry-skinned ectotherms, despite accumulating evidence that dehydration might trade-off with behavioral thermoregulation. Using experiments performed under controlled conditions in climatic chambers, we demonstrate that thermal preferences of a ground-dwelling, actively foraging lizard (Zootoca vivipara) are weakly decreased by a daily restriction in free-standing water availability (less than 0.5°C contrast). The influence of air humidity during the day on thermal preferences depends on time of the day and sex of the lizard, and is generally weaker than those of of free-standing water (less than 1°C contrast). This shows that short-term dehydration can influence, albeit weakly, thermal preferences under some circumstances in this species. Environmental humidity conditions are important methodological factors to consider in the analysis of thermal preferences.

Female common lizard basking in the field (Audrey Ely, 2020)

From PLOS ONE: https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247514