Title
Do morphological condition indices predict locomotor performance in the lizard **Podarcis sicula**? Do morphological condition indices predict locomotor performance in the lizard **Podarcis sicula**?
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Montreuil ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Acta oecologica. - Montreuil
Volume/pages
34(2008) :2 , p. 244-251
ISSN
1146-609X
ISI
000260099400013
Carrier
E
Target language
French (fre)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Biologists have developed a number of simple metrics to assess the health and energetic status of individual organisms and populations. While these condition indices have been widely used to address questions in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology, the ability of such indices to predict ecologically relevant locomotor performance abilities remains unknown. We show here that the functional links between six commonly used morphological condition indices and locomotor performance in two populations of Adriatic lizards (Podarcis sicula) are weak at best. Indeed, no indices consistently predict either maximum sprint speed or maximum exertion across sexes, seasons or populations. These results cast doubt on the ecological relevance of morphological condition indices in terms of locomotor performance, measured in laboratory conditions, at least in this species. We urge caution in using condition indices as proxies for individual physiological or phenotypic quality in ecological and evolutionary studies.
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