Main content area

Plasticity in metamorphic traits of Rana kukunoris tadpoles: The interactive effects of food level and rearing temperature

Yu, Tong Lei, Han, Yan Ting, Zhang, Shuai Peng
Russian journal of ecology 2016 v.47 no.6 pp. 552-556
Rana, amphibians, breeding sites, food availability, metamorphosis, rearing, tadpoles, temperature
Larval amphibians are particularly likely to encounter variation in rearing temperature and resource availability due to variation in aquatic breeding habitats. In this study, plasticity in growth rates, larval mass, larval period, and size at metamorphosis were examined in Rana kukunoris Nikolskii, 1918 under different combinations of temperature and food level. Larval period and larval body mass was sensitive to food level, and varied with temperature. Tadpoles metamorphosed at an older age at low temperature than those reared at warm temperature. Food level was a significant affect on larval period at low temperature, but not at warm temperature. Mass was heavier for tadpoles reared at low temperatures than those reared at warm temperatures. The effect of food level depended on temperature, because larvae reared at low temperature that were offered a high food level achieved a larger size than larvae offered a low food level, but this did not occur at warm temperature. Therefore, we suggest that high food availability at low temperature prolonged developmental periods, thus larvae are larger as metamorphs than those reared at warm temperatures.