Growth strategies of tadpoles along the pond permanency gradient
2016 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 30, no 6, 1117-1132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The preference for particular features of water bodies for reproduction is one of the most important aspects of anuran ecology, affecting key aspects of both tadpole and adult life. The use by species of different habitats along the pond permanency gradient has been already studied, noting conflicting selective pressures from predation and desiccation risk. Here, we aim to discover physiological patterns related with this gradient. As a study system, we used the full anuran community of the NE Iberian Peninsula. We quantified growth rate, consumption rate, food assimilation and the proportion of energy allocated to growth, as well as gut length, for all species. Food consumption rate and growth allocation were the variables that defined tadpole growth, while food assimilation abilities and gut length seem to have a secondary or cryptic role in growth. More interestingly however, our data suggests a labile continuum of consumption-based versus allocation/assimilation-based growth strategies differentiating species. Differences among species follow predictions of adaptation to the pond permanency gradient selective pressures. Species from ephemeral ponds are more prone to use consumption-related growth tactics while species inhabiting ponds with longer hydroperiods are more efficient retaining and allocating energy into growth, although results seem partly shaped by strong interspecific competition. Physiological differences in growth and the usage of the assimilated energy could be an additional factor to understand how tadpoles adapt to the features of ponds they inhabit, as well as how they compete and coexist.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 30, no 6, 1117-1132 p.
Predation risk, Energy allocation, Consumption rate, Growth rate, Resource exploitation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-309784DOI: 10.1007/s10682-016-9859-yISI: 000387603600009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-309784DiVA: diva2:1056748