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How to cope with periods of drought? Age at maturity, longevity, and growth of marbled newts (Triturus marmoratus) in Mediterranean temporary ponds

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We studied age at maturity, longevity, and growth in a marbled newt (Triturus marmoratus) population in southwestern France. Parameters of the life cycle such as date of migration, reproductive period, and terrestrial activity were documented for three neighbouring temporary ponds. This Mediterranean marbled newt population was characterized by aestivation and hibernation periods, a prolonged aquatic phase in adults, and a presence of juveniles in water. Aestivation and hibernation lead to distinct growth periods as determined by skeletochronology. Minimum age at maturity was 2 and 3 years, whereas maximum age observed was 8 and 9 years in males and females, respectively. A higher growth rate and a lower survival rate were found in this Mediterranean population compared with other populations exposed to variable environmental conditions in western Europe.

Nous avons étudié l'âge à la maturité, la longévité et la croissance d'une population du triton marbré (Triturus marmoratus) du sud-ouest de la France. Les caractéristiques du cycle vital (date de migration, durée de la période de reproduction et d'activité terrestre) ont été étudiées dans trois mares temporaires adjacents. Des périodes d'esti va tion et d'hibernation, ainsi qu'une période aquatique prolongée sont observées chez les adultes; les juvéniles se rendent aussi à l'eau. Un tel cycle vital se traduit par des périodes de croissance distinctes enregistrées dans les os, et mises en évidence par squelettochronologie. L'âge minimum à la maturité est de 2 et 3 ans et l'âge maximal de 8 et 9 ans, respectivement chez les mâles et les femelles. Un taux de croissance supérieur et un taux de survie plus faible ont été observés dans cette population méditerranéenne, comparativement aux valeurs observées dans d'autres populations d'Europe de l'Ouest soumises à des conditions environnementales variables.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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