We explored how morphological and physiological traits associated with energy expenditure over long periods of cold exposure would be integrated in a potential response to natural selection in a wild mammal, Phyllotis darwini. In particular, we studied sustained energy expenditure (SusMR), the rate of expenditure fueled by concurrent energy intake, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and sustained metabolic scope (SusMS = SusMR/BMR), a measure of the reserve for sustained work. We included the masses of different central processing organs as an underlying factor that could have a mechanistic link with whole animal traits. Only the liver had heritability statistically different from zero (0.73). Physiological and morphological traits had high levels of specific environmental variance (average 70%) and postnatal common environmental variance (average 30%) which could explain the low heritabilities estimates. Our results, (1) are in accordance with previous studies in mammals that report low heritabilities for metabolic traits (SusMR, BMR, SusMS), (2) but not completely with previous ones that report high heritabilities for morphological traits (masses of central organs), and (3) provide important evidence of the relevance of postnatal common environmental variance to sustained energy expenditure.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 58 • No. 2