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Effects of temperature and food availability on selected body temperature and locomotor performance of Plestiodon (Eumeces) chinensis (Scincidae)

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Remarkable temporal and spatial variations occur on selected body temperature (Tsel) and locomotor performance for Plestiodon (Eumeces) chinensis, commonly known as Chinese skinks. However, the significance of these variations remains elusive. This study focuses on the effects of thermal environment and food availability on P. chinensis's Tsel and locomotor performance. The duration of thermal treatment (4h and 8h) displayed significant effects on Tsel, additionally the effects of thermal treatment were also dependent on food-availability. There was no significant variation in skink's Tsel under diverse thermal treatments when sufficient food was available. However, with insufficient food source, the Tsel decreased with decrease in the duration of thermal treatment. Thermal acclimation also affected locomotor performance of P. chinensis, as the 8h thermal treatment enhanced their locomotor performance. However, food availability alone had no significant impact on the locomotor performance. Therefore, the combination of thermal acclimation and food availability could cause variations in Tsel and locomotor performance of skinks, suggesting that thermal environment and food condition in nature are important factors involved in temporal and spatial variations for Tsel and locomotor performance.

Affiliations: 1: West Branch of Zhejiang University of Technology Quzhou 324000; 2: College of Life Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036


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