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Warmer temperature and provision of natural substrate enable earlier metamorphosis in the critically endangered Baw Baw frog

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Temperature and food availability are known to independently trigger phenotypic change in ectotherms, but the interactive effects between these factors have rarely been considered. This study investigates the independent and interactive effects of water temperature and food availability on larval growth and development of the critically endangered Baw Baw frog, Philoria frosti. Larvae were reared at low (12°C) or high (17°C) water temperature in the absence or presence of substrate that controlled food availability, and body size and time to metamorphosis were quantified. Growth and development of larvae was influenced by the individual effects of temperature and food availability; time to metamorphosis was shorter in warm water treatment groups and in the presence of substrate and increased food. Unexpectedly, however, water temperature and food availability did not have an interactive effect on either time to metamorphose or body size at metamorphosis. Under all treatment groups, metamorphic onset occurred once a developmental size threshold was reached, indicating that growth rate and body size are key factors controlling the metamorphic process in Baw Baw frogs (consistent with the Wilbur-Collins model for ectotherm development). From an applied perspective, our findings have implications for amphibian conservation because they indicate that simple manipulations of temperature and food availability can be used to increase the rate of frog production in conservation breeding programs.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Gilbert, D. J., Magrath, M. J. L., & Byrne, P. G. (2020). Warmer temperature and provision of natural substrate enable earlier metamorphosis in the critically endangered Baw Baw frog. Conservation Physiology, 8(1). doi:10.1093/conphys/coaa030

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85099698458

Volume


  • 8

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • Temperature and food availability are known to independently trigger phenotypic change in ectotherms, but the interactive effects between these factors have rarely been considered. This study investigates the independent and interactive effects of water temperature and food availability on larval growth and development of the critically endangered Baw Baw frog, Philoria frosti. Larvae were reared at low (12°C) or high (17°C) water temperature in the absence or presence of substrate that controlled food availability, and body size and time to metamorphosis were quantified. Growth and development of larvae was influenced by the individual effects of temperature and food availability; time to metamorphosis was shorter in warm water treatment groups and in the presence of substrate and increased food. Unexpectedly, however, water temperature and food availability did not have an interactive effect on either time to metamorphose or body size at metamorphosis. Under all treatment groups, metamorphic onset occurred once a developmental size threshold was reached, indicating that growth rate and body size are key factors controlling the metamorphic process in Baw Baw frogs (consistent with the Wilbur-Collins model for ectotherm development). From an applied perspective, our findings have implications for amphibian conservation because they indicate that simple manipulations of temperature and food availability can be used to increase the rate of frog production in conservation breeding programs.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Gilbert, D. J., Magrath, M. J. L., & Byrne, P. G. (2020). Warmer temperature and provision of natural substrate enable earlier metamorphosis in the critically endangered Baw Baw frog. Conservation Physiology, 8(1). doi:10.1093/conphys/coaa030

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85099698458

Volume


  • 8

Issue


  • 1