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Inconsistent inbreeding effects during lizard ontogeny

Journal article
Authors Badreddine Bererhi
E. Wapstra
T. S. Schwartz
Mats Olsson
Published in Conservation Genetics
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 865-874
ISSN 1566-0621
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 865-874
Language en
Keywords Heterozygosity, Hatching success, First year survival, Life history stages, major histocompatibility complex, sand lizard, genetic diversity, lacerta-agilis, multilocus heterozygosity, parental relatedness, natural-population, wild population, depression, selection, Biodiversity & Conservation, Genetics & Heredity
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Reported effects of inbreeding vary among taxa and may depend on a number of factors, including what trait is measured, temporal variability, parental effects, or life history stage. To understand the effects of inbreeding during early life history stages, we estimated the effects of individual-level heterozygosity on hatching success and first year survival in a Swedish population of sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) over a period of almost a decade, using over 4000 eggs, 400 clutches, and over 3000 juveniles. Heterozygosity had a positive effect on hatching success, in standardized laboratory conditions, but no effect on first year survival. Also, both of these measures of viability varied across the years of the study, demonstrating the importance of temporal heterogeneity in pre and post-hatching conditions. Finally, we identified both paternal and maternal identity effects on hatching success. Thus, we show that selection on heterozygosity was not consistent across developmental life stages, emphasizing the need of considering a number of ontogenic stages, as well as potential parental and environmental effects, when studying the effects of heterozygosity on viability in natural populations.

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