Environmentally induced phenotypic variation in wild yellow-bellied marmots

Adriana A. Maldonado-Chaparro* (Corresponding Author), Julien G. A. Martin, Kenneth B. Armitage, Madan K. Oli, Daniel T. Blumstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of an individual to modify its phenotype according to the conditions it experiences, is a source of between-individual variation and a mechanism by which individuals can cope with environmental change. Plasticity is expected to evolve in response to environmental heterogeneity, such as seasonality and year-to-year variation. We aimed to characterize patterns of phenotypic change in morphological (body mass), life-history (reproductive success and litter size), and social (embeddedness) traits of female yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) in response to climatic and social variation. We used data collected over 36 years on a population of yellow-bellied marmots studied in Colorado. We used mixed effect models to explore phenotypically plastic responses and tested for individual variation in mean trait values (i.e., intercept) and in plasticity (i.e., slope). All examined traits were plastic, and the population's average plastic response often differed between spatially distinct colonies that varied systematically in timing of snowmelt, among age classes, and between females with different previous reproductive experiences. Moreover, we showed individual differences in June mass and pup mass plasticity. We suggest that plasticity plays a key role buffering the effects of continuous changes in environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Volume96
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2015

Fingerprint

Marmota
phenotypic variation
Plastics
plasticity
plastics
plastic
individual variation
Reproductive History
Litter Size
Aptitude
snowmelt
phenotypic plasticity
Individuality
litter size
pups
Population
age structure
buffering
age class
life history

Keywords

  • environmental change
  • individual variation
  • life-history traits
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • yellow-bellied marmots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Maldonado-Chaparro, A. A., Martin, J. G. A., Armitage, K. B., Oli, M. K., & Blumstein, D. T. (2015). Environmentally induced phenotypic variation in wild yellow-bellied marmots. Journal of Mammalogy, 96(2), 269-278. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyu006

Environmentally induced phenotypic variation in wild yellow-bellied marmots. / Maldonado-Chaparro, Adriana A. (Corresponding Author); Martin, Julien G. A.; Armitage, Kenneth B.; Oli, Madan K.; Blumstein, Daniel T.

In: Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 96, No. 2, 25.04.2015, p. 269-278.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Maldonado-Chaparro, AA, Martin, JGA, Armitage, KB, Oli, MK & Blumstein, DT 2015, 'Environmentally induced phenotypic variation in wild yellow-bellied marmots', Journal of Mammalogy, vol. 96, no. 2, pp. 269-278. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyu006
Maldonado-Chaparro AA, Martin JGA, Armitage KB, Oli MK, Blumstein DT. Environmentally induced phenotypic variation in wild yellow-bellied marmots. Journal of Mammalogy. 2015 Apr 25;96(2):269-278. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyu006
Maldonado-Chaparro, Adriana A. ; Martin, Julien G. A. ; Armitage, Kenneth B. ; Oli, Madan K. ; Blumstein, Daniel T. / Environmentally induced phenotypic variation in wild yellow-bellied marmots. In: Journal of Mammalogy. 2015 ; Vol. 96, No. 2. pp. 269-278.
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