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