Sex differences in age structure, growth rate and body size of common frogs Rana temporaria in the subarctic
2012 (English)In: Polar Biology, ISSN 0722-4060, E-ISSN 1432-2056, Vol. 35, no 10, 1505-1513 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The thermal environment and length of the activity season are important factors in shaping life-history trait variation in ectotherms. Many ectothermic vertebrates living at high latitudes or altitudes tend to be larger and older than their conspecifics living at lower latitudes or altitudes. However, detailed data on age, body size and growth variation-and how they may differ between males and females-are still scarce, especially from extreme high-latitude environments. We studied growth (body length increment), age and size structure of common frogs (Rana temporaria) in subarctic Finland (69A degrees 04'N) by applying skeletochronological methods to individually marked adults (n = 169) captured and recaptured between 1999 and 2003. We found that breeding males were on average younger (mean = 8.5 years) than females (11.9 years) and that males started reproducing earlier (a parts per thousand yen3-4 years of age) than females (> 4-5 years). The oldest encountered individual was an 18-year-old female, which to our knowledge is the oldest wild common frog ever reported. Females were on average larger (mean body length = 76.6 mm) than males (70.7 mm), and this appeared to be mainly due to their older age as compared to males. While body length increased and growth rate decreased with age in both sexes, growth rate declined significantly faster with age in males than in females. The latter finding provides a proximate explanation for the observation that even after accounting for age differences among sexes (females > males), females were longer than males.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 35, no 10, 1505-1513 p.
Age, Body size, Longevity, Rana temporaria, Skeletochronology, Subarctic
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182506DOI: 10.1007/s00300-012-1190-7ISI: 000308331600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-182506DiVA: diva2:560550