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Density-dependent performance of larval and juvenile toads: Implications for amphibian conservation


Weber, Tobias; Ozgul, Arpat; Schmidt, Benedikt R (2024). Density-dependent performance of larval and juvenile toads: Implications for amphibian conservation. Basic and Applied Ecology, 75:12-17.

Abstract

Density dependent carry-over effects from one life history stage to another can affect the dynamics of populations. Here we study such carry-over effects from the tadpole to the postmetamorphic juvenile stage in an endangered amphibian, the natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita). We raised tadpoles in outdoor aquatic mesocosms at four densities and assessed juvenile performance after metamorphosis in terrestrial mesocosms. High larval density reduced mass at metamorphosis by 50 % and doubled the length of the larval period. Survival was reduced at the high densities. Larger metamorphs had higher survival in terrestrial mesocosms and remained larger than cohort members at the end of the 30-day experiment. Because juvenile survival drives amphibian population dynamics, density-dependent carry-over effects to the juvenile stage are likely to affect population viability. We discuss the implications of the results for amphibian conservation practice, both pond construction programs and surveys of amphibian populations.

Abstract

Density dependent carry-over effects from one life history stage to another can affect the dynamics of populations. Here we study such carry-over effects from the tadpole to the postmetamorphic juvenile stage in an endangered amphibian, the natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita). We raised tadpoles in outdoor aquatic mesocosms at four densities and assessed juvenile performance after metamorphosis in terrestrial mesocosms. High larval density reduced mass at metamorphosis by 50 % and doubled the length of the larval period. Survival was reduced at the high densities. Larger metamorphs had higher survival in terrestrial mesocosms and remained larger than cohort members at the end of the 30-day experiment. Because juvenile survival drives amphibian population dynamics, density-dependent carry-over effects to the juvenile stage are likely to affect population viability. We discuss the implications of the results for amphibian conservation practice, both pond construction programs and surveys of amphibian populations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:590 Animals (Zoology)
570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:amphibian, ecology, conservation, density dependence, growth, monitoring, tadpole, juvenile
Language:English
Date:1 March 2024
Deposited On:13 Feb 2024 08:52
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 03:30
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1439-1791
OA Status:Gold
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2024.02.001
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)