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Overwinter survival of Rana lessonae and its hemiclonal associate Rana esculenta.


Anholt, B R; Hotz, H; Guex, G D; Semlitsch, R D (2003). Overwinter survival of Rana lessonae and its hemiclonal associate Rana esculenta. Ecology, 84(2):391-397.

Abstract

In central Europe, the hybridogenetic water frog Rana esculenta is a sexual parasite that only persists in the presence of the parental species, R. lessonae, with which it must mate in order to reproduce. R. esculenta is a superior larval competitor, and adult females are about three times more fecund than R. lessonae. This suggests that, in the absence of some balancing advantage to R. lessonae, R. esculenta should drive the parental species locally extinct, closely followed by itself. We measured annual survival rates over six years at two widely separated ponds using modern capture–mark–recapture methods to test whether differences in adult survival might contribute to the persistence of the water frog system. We marked 856 adult frogs and recovered 182 at least once. The data did not deviate significantly from the assumptions of the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model at either pond. There were no detectable differences in recapture probabilities between taxa, but females were, overall, less likely to be recaptured. Survival was higher for R. esculenta in all but one year. Therefore, some mechanism other than adult survival must be invoked to explain the persistence of this unusual breeding system. There was considerable year-to-year variation in survival, ranging from 6% over the winter of 1996–1997, to 98% over the winter of 1995–1996. Although the two ponds are separated by 35 km, pond identity did not contribute to the minimum models. A composite measure of winter severity constructed from a principal components analysis of weather data during the course of the study had a very close relationship with survival (R. lessonae, r = 0.905; R. esculenta, r = 0.889). Survival was lowest in winters with low minimum temperatures coupled with high and variable maximum temperatures.

In central Europe, the hybridogenetic water frog Rana esculenta is a sexual parasite that only persists in the presence of the parental species, R. lessonae, with which it must mate in order to reproduce. R. esculenta is a superior larval competitor, and adult females are about three times more fecund than R. lessonae. This suggests that, in the absence of some balancing advantage to R. lessonae, R. esculenta should drive the parental species locally extinct, closely followed by itself. We measured annual survival rates over six years at two widely separated ponds using modern capture–mark–recapture methods to test whether differences in adult survival might contribute to the persistence of the water frog system. We marked 856 adult frogs and recovered 182 at least once. The data did not deviate significantly from the assumptions of the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model at either pond. There were no detectable differences in recapture probabilities between taxa, but females were, overall, less likely to be recaptured. Survival was higher for R. esculenta in all but one year. Therefore, some mechanism other than adult survival must be invoked to explain the persistence of this unusual breeding system. There was considerable year-to-year variation in survival, ranging from 6% over the winter of 1996–1997, to 98% over the winter of 1995–1996. Although the two ponds are separated by 35 km, pond identity did not contribute to the minimum models. A composite measure of winter severity constructed from a principal components analysis of weather data during the course of the study had a very close relationship with survival (R. lessonae, r = 0.905; R. esculenta, r = 0.889). Survival was lowest in winters with low minimum temperatures coupled with high and variable maximum temperatures.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2003
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
ISSN:0012-9658
Publisher DOI:10.1890/0012-9658(2003)084[0391:OSORLA]2.0.CO;2
Related URLs:http://www.esajournals.org/esaonline/?request=get-abstract&issn=0012-9658&volume=084&issue=02&page=0391
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-558

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