Global warming kills gut bacteria in lizards

Scientists from the University of Exeter and the University of Toulouse found that warming of 2-3°C caused a 34% loss of microorganism diversity in the guts of common lizards (also known as viviparous lizards). In the experiments, lizards were put in temperature-controlled enclosures and samples of their gut bacteria were tested to identify which bacteria were present.

The diversity of bacteria was lower for lizards living in warmed conditions, and the researchers found this had an impact on their survival chances. By raising the temperature by 2-3°C in their experiment, the researchers reflected warming predicted by current climate change models. The paper, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, is entitled: “Climate warming reduces gut microbiota diversity in a vertebrate ectotherm.”

— source exeter.ac.uk

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