Zootoca vivipara. (Credit: Stanislaw Szydlo/CC BY-SA 3.0)
A release appearing in PLOS Biology reports that a study of the common European lizard Zootoca vivipara has indicated they could be headed for significant population losses if the climate warms by 2 degrees Celsius. A 2-degree rise can speed up their life cycle, making them breed faster but also die more quickly, researchers found.
Using a semi-natural study enclosure called the Metatron, researchers compared 18 populations of lizards for a year, some at a current climate temperature and the others at 2 degrees Celsius higher. Even though lizards typically respond well to heat, it was discovered that they did not necessarily respond in beneficial ways to a 2-degree Celsius increase.
They matured faster and bred faster, but also died faster, leaving population decreases in their wake. However, a possibly hopeful sign for the lizards is that, while they bred fast and died younger, they were in some cases shown to have extra broods.
Top image: Zootoca vivipara. (Credit: Stanislaw Szydlo/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)