Environmental Predictors of Evaporative Water Loss in Aegean Island Lizards
Intensifying environmental conditions, such as droughts and rising temperatures, increase the strain ectotherms face to maintain appropriate body temperatures and regulate hydration levels via osmoregulation. Effects of climate change are already becoming more pronounced in the Mediterranean; projections estimate the region will warm 20% faster than global rates, and the summers are expected to warm at a pace 40% greater than the global mean (Lionello & Scarascia, 2018). My project aims to understand how five co-occurring Greek island lizard species vary in osmoregulation through evaporative cooling. We hope to understand how variables like canopy cover, temperature, moisture, and UV index may explain variation in cutaneous evaporative water loss rates in Aegean Island lizard species, which is increasingly important as conditions force lizards to live near their critical maximum temperatures and cause local extinction (Sinervo et. al 2010).