The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2020 Impact Factor for the Herpetological Journal is 0.862

pdf 04. The abundance of premetamorphic newts (Triturus cristatus, T marmoratus) as a function of habitat determinants an a priori model selection approach


Open Access


Authors: Marc Sztatecsny, Robert Jehle, B Enedikt R. Schmidt And J. W. Arntzen

Abstract: Despite the key role of premetamorphic amphibians in experimental ecology, the factors affecting their abundance has received relatively little attention in natural settings. We applied a model selection approach with AIC (Akaike's Information Criterion) to predict the abundance of embryos and larvae of crested and marbled newts (Triturus cristatus and T. marmoratus) at 32 breeding sites in western France, based on 15 variables describing the aquatic habitat, and 10 variables describing the terrestrial habitat within a 100 m radius around the pond. The best model for embryos included the variables shade and floating vegetation (highest embryo abundance in intermediate ponds), and pond size (negative correlation). Larval abundance was best explained by shade (negative correlation), and the interaction between phosphate and nitrate. Pond variables were not fully comparable to terrestrial parameters, but produced better predictive models for both embryos and larvae. Due to the high explanatory value of ecological parameters the results suggest that in a metapopulation context, deterministic population processes driven by pond succession may be more important than stochastic extinctions and recolonizations of otherwise suitable habitat patches.

Keywords: AIC, ecological determinants, habitat selection, Urodela

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.