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.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 04. Fitness effects of shelter provision for captive amphibian tadpoles


Open Access

pp. 21-26
Authors: Michaels, Christopher J. & Preziosi, Richard F.

Abstract: The larvae of many amphibians are highly sensitive to environmental conditions. Tadpoles can adjust their development in response to stressors, but this may come at a cost in terms of fitness. The captive environment may be the source of stressors and may therefore influence the fitness of larval amphibians reared for conservation. We investigated the effects of shelter provision on fitness in captive tadpoles of the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas). Larvae maintained with shelter metamorphosed significantly larger and later than animals maintained with either no shelter or with shade only. Behavioural data suggest that the positive effect of shelter provision on fitness may be due to a reduced stress response; animals showed more extreme anti-predator behaviour when housed with no shelter and intermediate responses when housed with shade alone. Our data show that the design of captive enclosures can influence the fitness of captive amphibians.


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