Donald Miles

Donald Miles
Ohio University · Department of Biological Sciences

Ph.D.

About

136
Publications
37,761
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6,552
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Introduction
I am analyzing how morphological constraints on habitat selection may enhance local extirpations along elevational gradients. "An ecomorphological analysis of the 'escalator to extinction'"
Additional affiliations
September 1985 - present
Ohio University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (136)
Article
Full-text available
Aging is the price to pay for acquiring and processing energy through cellular activity and life history productivity. Climate warming can exacerbate the inherent pace of aging, as illustrated by a faster erosion of protective telomere DNA sequences. This biomarker integrates individual pace of life and parental effects through the germline, but wh...
Article
Full-text available
Male lizards often display multiple pigment‐based and structural colour signals which may reflect various quality traits (e.g. performance, parasitism), with testosterone (T) often mediating these relationships. Furthermore, environmental conditions can explain colour signal variation by affecting processes such as signal efficacy, thermoregulation...
Article
1. Thermal constraints imposed by the environment limit the activity time of ectotherms and have been a central issue in ecophysiology. Assessing these restrictions is key to determining the vulnerability of species to changing thermal niches and developing conservation strategies. 2. We generate an explicit tortoise model of thermal constraints at...
Preprint
Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges for ectotherms due to their dependence on environmental temperature. Extirpation of populations of lizards have already been reported, including endemic species occurring in the mountains of Central México. Here, we characterize the thermal ecology of a montane, viviparous lizard species, Barisi...
Article
Tortoises of the genus Gopherus evolved in North America and have survived major environmental challenges in the past 40 million years. However, this genus now faces multiple anthropogenic threats, such as the introduction of invasive plant species. Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris) is considered one of the greatest threats to arid and tropical ecosy...
Article
Full-text available
Climate-modulated parasitism is driven by a range of factors, yet the spatial and temporal variability of this relationship has received scant attention in wild vertebrate hosts. Moreover, most prior studies overlooked the intraspecific differences across host morphotypes, which impedes a full understanding of the climate-parasitism relationship. I...
Article
Full-text available
Caudal autotomy is a striking adaptation used by many lizard species to evade predators. Most studies to date indicate that caudal autotomy impairs lizard locomotor performance. Surprisingly, some species bearing the longest tails show negligible impacts of caudal autotomy on sprint speed. Part of this variation has been attributed to lineage effec...
Article
An ecological issue can best be studied by gathering original data that are specifically targeted for that issue. But ascer-taining—a priori—whether a novel issue will be worth exploring can be problematic without background data. However, an issue’s potential merit can sometimes be evaluated by repurposing legacy or other data that had been gather...
Preprint
Full-text available
Caudal autotomy is a dramatic adaptation used by many lizard species to evade predators. Most studies to date indicate that caudal autotomy impairs lizard locomotor performance. Surprisingly, some species bearing the longest tails show negligible impacts of caudal autotomy on sprint speed. Part of this variation has been attributed to lineage effec...
Article
Full-text available
The diversity of habitats generated by the Andes uplift resulted a mosaic of heterogeneous environments in South America for species to evolve a variety of ecological and physiological specializations. Species in the lizard family Liolaemidae occupy a myriad of habitats in the Andes. Here we analyze the tempo and mode of evolution in the thermal bi...
Article
1. In the past decades, nocturnal temperatures have been playing a disproportionate role in the global warming of the planet. Yet, they remain a neglected factor in studies assessing the impact of global warming on natural populations. 2. Here, we question whether an intense augmentation of nocturnal temperatures is beneficial or deleterious to ect...
Article
Global climate change and the associated erosion of habitat suitability are pervasive threats to biodiversity. It is critical to identify specific stressors to assess a species vulnerability to extinction, especially in species with distinctive natural histories. Here, we present a combination of field, laboratory, and modeling approaches to evalua...
Article
Behavioral thermoregulation is an efficient mechanism to buffer the physiological effects of climate change. Thermal ecology studies have traditionally tested how thermal constraints shape thermoregulatory behaviors without accounting for the potential major effects of landscape structure and water availability. Thus, we lack a general understandin...
Article
Full-text available
Regulation of body temperature is crucial for optimizing physiological performance in ectotherms but imposes constraints in time and energy. Time and energy spent thermoregulating can be reduced through behavioral (e.g., basking adjustments) or biophysical (e.g., heating rate physiology) means. In a heterogeneous environment, we expect thermoregula...
Article
The integrity of regional and local biological diversity is under siege as a result of a multiple anthropogenic threats. The conversion of habitats, such as rain forests, into agricultural ecosystems reduces the area available to support species populations. Rising temperatures and altered rainfall patterns lead to additional challenges for species...
Article
For ectotherms, thermal physiology plays a fundamental role in the establishment and success of invasive species in novel areas and, ultimately, in their ecological interactions with native species. Invasive species are assumed to have a greater ability to exploit the thermal environment, higher acclimation capacities, a wider thermal tolerance ran...
Article
Macroclimatic niches are indirect and potentially inadequate predictors of the realized environmental conditions that many species experience. Consequently, analyses of niche evolution based on macroclimatic data alone may incompletely represent the evolutionary dynamics of species niches. Yet, understanding how an organisms’ climatic (Grinnellian)...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental temperatures influence ectotherms’ physiology and capacity to perform activities necessary for survival and reproduction. Time available to perform those activities is determined by thermal tolerances and environmental temperatures. Estimates of activity time might enhance our ability to predict suitable areas for species’ persistence...
Article
Full-text available
Reproduction involves considerable reorganization in an organism's physiology that incurs potential toxicity for cells (e.g., oxidative stress) and decrease in fitness. This framework has been the cornerstone of the so‐called ‘oxidative cost of reproduction’, a theory that remains controversial and relatively overlooked in non‐model ectotherms. Her...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Hosts and their parasites are under reciprocal selection, leading to coevolution. However, parasites depend not only on a host, but also on the host's environment. In addition, a single host species is rarely infested by a single species of parasite and often supports multiple species (i.e., multi-infestation). Although the arms race b...
Article
Mating system theory based on economics of resource defense has been applied to describe social system diversity across taxa. Such models are generally successful but fail to account for stable mating systems across different environments or shifts in mating system without a change in ecological conditions. We propose an alternative approach to res...
Article
Full-text available
Climatic conditions changing over time and space shape the evolution of organisms at multiple levels, including temperate lizards in the family Lacertidae. Here we reconstruct a dated phylogenetic tree of 262 lacertid species based on a supermatrix relying on novel phylogenomic datasets and fossil calibrations. Diversification of lacertids was acco...
Article
Temperature variation throughout a species range can be extensive and exert divergent spatiotemporal patterns of selection. The estimation of phenotypic differences of populations along environmental gradients provides information regarding population-level responses to changing environments and evolutionary lability in climate-relevant traits. How...
Article
A fitness benefit of phenotypic plasticity is the ability of an organism to survive short-term, deleterious environmental fluctuations. Yet the influence of selection on plasticity in modulating shifts in phenotypic traits remains unclear. Short-term phenotypic plasticity in thermal tolerance traits is attained by exposure to sublethal hot or cold...
Article
Full-text available
Ambient temperature is a primary factor affecting the physiology and activity of reptiles. Thermoregulation involves a series of mechanisms to maintain an organism’s body temperature within a narrow range. The study of thermal ecology of lizards is relevant for understanding their distribution, life history, ecology and thermal requirements. Moreov...
Article
Covariation among behavioral and physiological traits is thought to enhance reproductive success and Darwinian fitness. Species that exhibit alternative mating strategies provide excellent opportunities to assess the relative contributions of physiological and behavioral traits to fitness. Male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) exhibit three...
Article
Full-text available
The lingual morphology of the squamata is still unknown in many species. The lake of detailed description in specific species has hindered the understanding of the functional morphology of the squamata tongue. Therefore, the aim of the study is designed to reveal the morphology of the tongues of the insectivore Scincus scincus; the herbivore Uromas...
Article
Full-text available
The use of behavior to buffer extreme environmental variation is expected to enable species to (a) extend the breadth of environments they inhabit beyond that predicted from climatic data and (b) diminish the negative effects of broad scale and chronic disturbances such as climate change. The term Bogert effect refers to behavioral compensation ent...
Article
Full-text available
Locomotion is relevant to the ecology of reptiles because of its presumed influence on an organism’s Darwinian fitness. Moreover, in ectothermic species, physiological performance capacity is affected by body temperature. We analyzed two components of locomotor performance in three species of lizards, Phymaturus extrilidus, Liolaemus parvus, and Li...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the susceptibility of species to changing thermal niches is a major goal for biologists. In this paper we develop an eco-physiological model of extinction risk under climate change premised on behavioral thermoregulation. Our method downscales operative environmental temperatures, which restrict hours of activity of lizards, hr, for pre...
Article
Full-text available
Ectothermic species are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and may adapt to changes in thermal environments through evolutionary shifts in thermal physiology or thermoregulatory behaviour. Nevertheless, the her-itability of thermal traits, which sets a limit on evolutionary potential, remains largely unexplored. In this study, we capt...
Article
Full-text available
1.Climate change should lead to massive loss of biodiversity in most taxa but the detailed physiological mechanisms underlying population extinction remain largely elusive so far. In vertebrates, baseline levels of hormones such as glucocorticoids (GCs) may be indicators of population state since their secretion to chronic stress can impair surviva...
Article
Full-text available
We summarize thermal-biology data of 69 species of Amazonian lizards, including mode of thermoregulation and field-active body temperatures (Tb). We also provide new data on preferred temperatures (Tpref), voluntary and thermal-tolerance ranges, and thermal-performance curves (TPC’s) for 27 species from nine sites in the Brazilian Amazonia. We test...
Data
Preferred, voluntary and critical temperatures from all individuals tested in ecophysiological experiments. Tpref = preferred temperature; VTmin = Minimum voluntary temperature; VTmax = Maximum voluntary temperature; CTmin = Minimum critical temperature; CTmax = Maximum critical temperature. Available on doi: 10.6084/m9.figshare.5293756. (XLSX)
Article
The US and Mexico share a common history in many areas, including language and culture. They face ecological changes due to the increased frequency and severity of droughts and rising energy demands; trends that entail economic costs for both nations and major implications for human well being. We describe an ongoing effort by the Environment Worki...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the susceptibility of species to changing thermal niches is a major goal for biologists. In this paper we develop an eco‐physiological model of extinction risk under climate change premised on behavioral thermoregulation. Our method downscales operative environmental temperatures, which restrict hours of activity of lizards, hr, for pre...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the early warning signals of catastrophic extinctions has recently became a central focus for ecologists, but species’ functional responses to environmental changes remain an untapped source for the sharpening of such warning signals. Telomere length (TL) analysis represents a promising molecular tool with which to raise the alarm regar...
Article
Full-text available
Water-conservation strategies are well documented in species living in water-limited environments, but physiological adaptations to water availability in temperate climate environments are still relatively overlooked. Yet, temperate species are facing more frequent and intense droughts as a result of climate change. Here, we examined variation in f...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the thermal ecology of a species can improve model predictions for temperature-induced population collapse, which in light of climate change is increasingly important for species with limited distributions. Here, we use a multi-faceted approach to quantify and integrate the thermal ecology, properties of the thermal habitat, and past a...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is resulting in a radical transformation of the thermal quality of habitats across the globe. Whereas species have altered their distributions to cope with changing environments, the evidence for adaptation in response to rising temperatures is limited. However, to determine the potential of adaptation in response to thermal variatio...
Conference Paper
Recent climate change should result in expansion of species to northern or high elevation range margins,
Technical Report
Full-text available
Recent climate change should result in expansion of species to northern or high elevation range margins, and contraction at southern and low elevation margins due to extinction. Climate models predict dramatic extinctions and distributional shifts in the next century, but there are few ground-truths of these dire forecasts leading to uncertainty in...
Article
An increase in temperatures and frequency of drought events are predicted in the High Andes due to climate change. Species could respond with changes in its range, abundance and phenology. Here, we used a species distribution model to assess and predict the vulnerability to climate change of the endemic lizard Phymaturus palluma of the Andes. The m...
Article
Full-text available
Delimiting the habitat characteristics describing the environmental conditions required by a species has become a critical tool for predicting organismal responses to environmental change. Grinnell emphasized the effects of environmental factors on the ability of a population to maintain a positive growth rate, yet few studies have included demogra...
Data
Habitat space. NMDS of the habitat space based on 104 habitat plots from random, male territory center and female nest sites. Plant species and size classes as in S1 Table. (PDF)
Data
Random habitat space in the burned, harvested and unaltered habitat. NMDS of the random habitat space by habitat type. (TIFF)
Data
Acronyms for the plant species sampled in the habitat plots, scientific name, common name, size class. Stem size classes: V1 < 3 cm, T1 = 10–23 cm, T2 = 23–38 cm, T3 > 38 cm and NMDS scores. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Life-history traits involved in trade-offs are known to vary with environmental conditions. Here, we evaluate the response of the trade-off between 'offspring number' versus 'energy invested per offspring' to ambient temperature in 11 natural populations of the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara. We provide evidence at both the intra-and interpopulati...
Data
Table S1. Results of analysis of yellow male U. ornatus satellite behaviour. Table S2 - Summary of vegetation, arthropod, and U. ornatus datasets used in this study. Figure S1 - Variation in spatial proximity (in metres) of yellow morph U. ornatus to either blue or orange males from a nearby population. Figure S2 - Non-metric multidimensional scali...
Article
Full-text available
Discrete colour morphs associated with alternative mating tactics are assumed to be ecologically equivalent. Yet suites of behaviours linked with reproduction can also favour habitat segregation and exploitation of different prey among morphs. By contrast, trophic polymorphisms are usually attributed to morphs exhibiting habitat or prey selectivity...
Article
Laboratory experiments are useful for estimating the carbon and nitrogen isotope discrimination factors and turnover rates that are critical for drawing field-based inferences on consumer diets using stable isotopes. Although the utility of these discrimination factors is widely recognized, work in terrestrial systems has largely been limited to st...
Article
Full-text available
Studies that focus on thermal ecology and physiology, (e.g., the change in performance with temperature), provide critical data for predicting the potential responses of ectothermic organisms to climate change. Projected modification of current ambient temperature in the future are expected to result in shifts in whole-organismal performance, which...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the role of microhabitats in the ecology of plethodontid salamanders is of utmost importance in the light of recent climate change. Plethodontid species are inherently susceptible to rising temperatures and drier conditions as they utilize cutaneous respiration. Furthermore, many species of plethodontid salamanders have restricted ran...
Article
Full-text available
1.Substantial plastic variation in phenology in response to environmental heterogeneity through time in the same population has been uncovered in many species. However, our understanding of differences in reaction norms of phenology among populations from a given species remains limited. 2.Since the plasticity of phenological traits is often influe...
Data
Figure S1. Adult female Yarrow's spiny lizard (Sceloporus jarrovii) peeking out over a boulder in the Huachuca Mountains in southeast Arizona, USA.
Data
Table S1. Body size (snout-vent length, SVL) and body temperature data for Sceloporus jarrovii from this study and published datasets.