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Bergmann Size Clines: A Simple Explanation for Their Occurrence in Ectotherms

Wayne A. Van Voorhies
Evolution
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jun., 1996), pp. 1259-1264
DOI: 10.2307/2410666
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410666
Page Count: 6
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Abstract

In general ectothermic organisms grow larger at both lower temperatures and higher latitudes. Adult size in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans reared at 10⚬C was approximately 33% greater than worms grown at 25⚬C. Nematode egg size and fish red blood cell size showed similar size increases at lower temperatures. These results indicate that body size differences in many ectotherms may simply be a consequence of developmental processes that cause cells to grow larger at lower temperatures. This would provide a general explanation for the increased size of ectotherms at lower temperatures independent of species-specific ecology

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