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Physiological variability in yearling alligators: Clutch differences at rest andduring activity
University of Akron, USA.
University of North Texas, Denton, USA.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Lousiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Grand Chenier, LA, USA.
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2012 (English)In: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Comparative Physiology, ISSN 0300-9629, Vol. Part A, no 162, 44-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The adult phenotype of an organism is the result of its genotype, the environment, and the interaction betweenthe two. Assessing the relative contribution of these factors to the final adult phenotype continues tooccupy researchers. Studies have shown clutch effects early in development but few have investigated thepersistence of clutch effects on a longer time scale. Five clutches of American alligators were reared for1 year in a common environment then assessed for the presence of clutch effects as they related to morphologicaland physiological characteristics. After 1 year, significant clutch effects were evident in all size relatedvariables despite open access to food. Additionally, lung and liver masses remained different betweenclutches after animal mass was taken into account. Although clutch had no effect on resting heart rate, itsignificantly contributed to mean arterial pressure. During swimming and exhaustive exercise, the resultingrespiratory and metabolic acidoses were strongly dependent on clutch. Therefore, while the environmentcan have significant influences on the American alligator from hatching to death, the measureable contributionof genetics to the morphology and physiology of the organism remains evident, even after 1 year ofcommon rearing conditions. It behooves researchers to acknowledge and control for clutch effects when designingexperiments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. Part A, no 162, 44-50 p.
Keyword [en]
Alligator, Physiological variability, Clutch, Exercise, Sibling effect
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75979DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2012.02.005ISI: 000302673300007OAI: diva2:511359
funding agencies|European Union| ERBFMBICT982940 |NSF| IBN 9727762 9982671 |American Heart Association||Available from: 2012-03-21 Created: 2012-03-21 Last updated: 2012-05-04

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Altimiras, Jordi
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ZoologyThe Institute of Technology
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