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      Life-history trait database of European reptile species

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Life-history data are essential for providing answers to a wide range of questions in evolution, ecology, and conservation biology. While life history data for many species, especially plants, are available online, life history traits of European reptiles are available only widely scattered in different languages and primarily in printed media. For this reason, we generated a comprehensive trait database covering all European reptile species. Data were compiled by searching the peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed literature. The database covers the whole of Europe and neighbouring Asian and African countries. Traits were categorised under five main headings: Activity / Energy / Habitat; Phenology; Movement; Sexual Maturity; and Morphometry. To ensure that the data were standardised, we defined trait data categories before we started compiling data. All entries were checked by at least one other person. The dataset provides a unique source for meta-analyses and modelling in ecology and conservation biology.

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          Most cited references 64

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          Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe

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            Covariation of Life-History Traits in Lacertid Lizards: A Comparative Study

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              Dispersal syndromes and the use of life-histories to predict dispersal

              Due to its impact on local adaptation, population functioning or range shifts, dispersal is considered a central process for population persistence and species evolution. However, measuring dispersal is complicated, which justifies the use of dispersal proxies. Although appealing, and despite its general relationship with dispersal, body size has however proven unsatisfactory as a dispersal proxy. Our hypothesis here is that, given the existence of dispersal syndromes, suites of life-history traits may be alternative, more appropriate proxies for dispersal. We tested this idea by using butterflies as a model system. We demonstrate that different elements of the dispersal process (i.e., individual movement rates, distances, and gene flow) are correlated with different suites of life-history traits: these various elements of dispersal form separate syndromes and must be considered real axes of a species' niche. We then showed that these syndromes allowed accurate predictions of dispersal. The use of life-history traits improved the precision of the inferences made from wing size alone by up to five times. Such trait-based predictions thus provided reliable dispersal inferences that can feed simulation models aiming at investigating the dynamics and evolution of butterfly populations, and possibly of other organisms, under environmental changes, to help their conservation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                December 19 2014
                December 19 2014
                : 9
                : 45-67
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.9.8908
                © 2014

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