Anthropogenic and climatic factors interact to influence reproductive timing and effort


Reproduction, although absolutely essential to a species’ persistence, is in itself challenging. As anthropogenic change increasingly affects every landscape on Earth, it is critical to understand how specific pressures impact the reproductive efforts of individuals, which directly contribute to the success or failure of populations. However, organisms rarely encounter a single burden at a time, and the interactions of environmental challenges can have compounding effects. Disentangling environmental and physiological pressures is difficult because they are often context-dependent and not generalizable, but long-term monitoring across variable landscapes and weather patterns can improve our understanding of these complex interactions. We tested the effects of urbanization, climate, and individual condition on the reproductive investment of wild side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) by measuring physiological/reproductive metrics from six populations in urban and rural areas an urban-rural matrix, over six consecutive years of variable precipitation. We observed that reproductive stage affected body condition, corticosterone concentration, and oxidative stress. We also observed that reproductive patterns differed between urban and rural populations depending on rainfall, with rural animals increasing reproductive investment during rainier years compared to urban conspecifics, and that reproductive decisions appeared to occur early in the reproductive process. These results demonstrate the plastic nature of a generalist species optimizing lifetime fitness under varying conditions.

Document Type




File Format

.txt, .csv

Publication Date



NSF, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS)


Utah State University

Award Number

NSF, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) 1350070

Award Title

CAREER: Physiological Trade-offs in Ecoimmunology: Costs for Individuals and Populations


Physiological and morphological metrics of side-blotched lizards

Scientfic Names

Uta stansburiana

Start Date


End Date




Code Lists

See the README.txt file:

prim – Year of sampling (ordinal; 1= 2012, 2=2013, 3=2014, 4=2015, 5=2016, 6=2017)

id- individual lizard identifier, sitetype = denotes whether the site is inside or outside the city (categorical – rural, urban)

stage –female reproductive stage but is not applicable for males since they are all the same (categorical; F= Early, Mid, Late, Gravid; Male =NA)

sex – (categorical; female, male)

repro- total sum of the follicle lengths (mm) present in females at the time of sampling (continuous)

svl- snout to vent length (mm) used as a measure of body size (continuous)\

mass – body mass (g) (continuous)

blbka- baseline bacterial killing ability measure of innate immunity (bound data; 0-100%)

blcort- baseline corticosterone levels (ng/ml), circulating hormone indicative of stress (continuous)

clutch- number of follicles/eggs present at time of sampling (continuous) droms- reactive oxygen species in the blood (H2O2/dL)– related to free radical production

oxy – total antioxidant capacity of the blood (umol HClO/ml)

bci – body condition index – residuals of the regression of svl and body mass

Total_AAHU – total area of active human use (meters squared); we want to look at this as our main disturbance indicator; this is defined at the site level

Total_AHM_I - total area of human modification that is inert; this is defined at the site level

Total_AHM_SW - total area of human modification that is supplemental water; this is defined at the site level

Total_APNW – total area of potential natural water; this is defined at the site level

Total_AHM_B - total area of human modification that is potentially beneficial to the lizards; this is defined at the site level

Total_ANH total area of natural habitat; this is defined at the site level

Precip – total precipitation from the preceding year up to sampling that year; variable defined by year/prim


Dataset contains a single .csv file: st.george_uta_data.csv

File was originally analyzed using SPSS (version 25.0; IBM, Inc.)


Animal Sciences | Desert Ecology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Life Sciences | Zoology


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



Additional Files

README.txt (5 kB)
MD5: 19e8c232510987a1855f240d38a173a0

st.george_uta_data.csv (100 kB)
MD5: 3842853dd1cb06094b146daa4064216f