Rana temporaria metamorph production and population dynamics in the field Effects of tadpole density, predation and pond drying
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal for Nature Conservation
This study investigates factors of importance for tadpoles survival and metamorph production in the common frog Rana temporaria. It also assess the importance of this for the population dynamics of the species. Eighteen ponds were studied for up to 8 years. Data collected each year included: number of spawn clumps deposited, tadpole number and metamorph number. The permanency of the ponds was also recorded each year. Measures were taken of predator density. There was no suggestion of density dependence in the survival of tadpoles. In contrast, the number of spawn clumps deposited per pond area was highest for ponds with high survival. Density of predators (sticklebacks, newts and invertebrates) was negatively correlated to tadpole and metamorph survival. This was true both within (among years) and among ponds. Several of the study ponds dried completely before metamorphosis in some years. However, those ponds also were those with the smallest number of predators and in years with successful metamorphosis, these ponds produced more metamorphs than more permanent ponds. An analysis of the year to year dynamics showed that population size (number of deposited spawn clumps) was correlated to that in the previous year, suggesting a fairly high adult survival, but also on the number of metamorphs emerging two or three years before (corresponding to the age of sexual maturity of the species). It is concluded that the aquatic stage is not strongly limiting in these ponds but conservation efforts should be focused on the terrestrial habitat. Also, the study stresses the value of temporary ponds, despite the fact that recruitment often fails totally in these.
- Biological Sciences
- ISSN: 1617-1381