Elevational variation of body size and reproductive traits in high-latitude wolf spiders (Araneae Lycosidae)

Abstract : Environmental gradients can help us comprehend the range of adaptations or plasticity that a given species can exhibit in response to climatic change. In this study, we assessed the response in female body size, clutch size and egg volume to elevational gradients in closely related wolf spiders. We measured these traits in Pardosa glacialis, P. hyperborea, P. furcifera and P. palustris, collected along elevational gradients across six sites in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions (four sites in Greenland, one in Iceland and one in the Faroe Islands), although not all species were found at all sites. Body size and reproductive traits did not vary with elevation in a consistent manner among species although smaller species were more sensitive to the gradients. The positive relationship between body size and clutch size was most pronounced in the larger species, indicating that larger species are better able to translate favourable environmental conditions into a larger reproductive output. Our study illustrates that elevational gradients may not fully capture spatial variation in environmental conditions experienced by high-latitude wolf spider species.
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C. Ameline, T.T. Høye, J.J. Bowden, R.R. Hansen, O.L.P. Hansen, et al.. Elevational variation of body size and reproductive traits in high-latitude wolf spiders (Araneae Lycosidae). Polar Biology, Springer Verlag, 2018, 41 (12), pp.2561-2574. ⟨10.1007/s00300-018-2391-5⟩. ⟨hal-01937629⟩

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