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

ISSN 0268-0130


pdf 03. Carry-over effects of the larval environment on the post-metamorphic performance of Bombina variegata (Amphibia, Anura)

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https://doi.org/10.33256/hj30.3.126134

pp.126-134

Authors: Ulrich Sinsch, Fabienne Leus, Marlene Sonntag & Alena Marcella Hantzschmann

Abstract: Metamorphs of the yellow-bellied toad, Bombina variegata, vary widely in size at metamorphosis in the field. We performed a replicated outdoor mesocosm study to simulate the environmental factor combinations in permanent and ephemeral breeding sites and to quantify their effects on tadpole development (duration of the larval period, metamorph size and body condition). Looking for potential carry-over effects of the larval environment, we quantified locomotor performance of all metamorph phenotypes originating from the mesocosms immediately after metamorphosis under controlled conditions. In contrast to the prediction of life-history theory, tadpoles were unable to adjust developmental rate to water availability, but metamorphs originating from the ephemeral pond treatment were smaller and had a lower body condition than those from the permanent pond treatment. Size-dependent carry-over effects included the length of the first jump following tactile stimulation, burst performance (total length of spontaneous jumps) and endurance (total distance covered in 10 forced jumps). A size-independent effect of larval environment was the prolonged locomotor effort to escape (5.7 consecutive jumps following initial stimulus) of metamorphs from the ephemeral pond treatment compared to same-sized ones (3.7 jumps) from the permanent pond treatment. Thus, we demonstrate that carry-over effects of larval environment on metamorph phenotype and behaviour cause a considerable variation in fitness in the early terrestrial stage of B. variegata. Informed conservation management of endangered populations in the northern range should therefore include the provision of small permanent breeding ponds promoting larger and fitter metamorphs.

Keywords: complex life cycles, mesocosm, plasticity of metamorph phenotype, post-metamorphic jumping performance, delayed density dependence, delayed life-history effects

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

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.