Tim Mitchell a post-doctoral researcher at University of Minnesota with Emilie Snell-Rood presented his work from his prerious post doc in Dan Warner’s lab where he investigated the impacts of density and timing of hatching on the survival and growth of Anolis sagrei hatchings. Seeking to specifically address these questions:
How does investment in offspring size and number shift seasonally?
Does the timing of hatching influence survival or growth in the field?
And does adult density influence survival or growth of hatchlings in the field?
Adult anoles were brought into the lab on three different dates and breeding was split into three corresponding windows of time: Cohort 1 (February 23rd – April 27th), Cohort 2 (June 18th – July 30th), and Cohort 3 (September 5th – October 15th). On experimental islands, adult densities were manipulated to create high and low lizard densities. Hatchlings from cohorts 1, 2, and 3 were released onto high and low adult density islands in June, August, and October, respectively, and researchers returned the following spring to recapture the marked lizards.
Breeding in the lab revealed a seasonal shift from producing more smaller offspring early to producing fewer larger offspring later in the season. Adult densities on the islands did not affect hatchling survival, but there was a substantial survival advantage to being an early-hatched lizard. Size and growth of hatchlings were influenced both by timing of hatching and the adult densities. So happy to catch up with my academic family and see the cool research they are doing!