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Effect of soil type on burrowing behavior and cocoon formation in the green-striped burrowing frog, Cyclorana alboguttata

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Abstract:

This study examined the effect of soil type on burrowing behaviour and cocoon formation during aestivation in the green-striped burrowing frog, Cyclorana alboguttata (Günther, 1867). Given a choice, frogs always chose to burrow in wet sand in preference to wet clay. Frogs buried themselves faster and dug deeper burrows in sandy soil. However, under my laboratory conditions, there was little difference in the pattern of soil drying between the two soil types. Frogs in both sand and clay soil experienced hydrating conditions for the first 3months and dehydrating conditions for the last 3months of the 6-month aestivation period, and cocoons were not formed until after 3months of aestivation. After 6months, there were more layers in the cocoons of frogs aestivating in sand than those aestivating in clay. Frogs were able to absorb water from sandy soil with water potentials greater than –400kPa, but lost water when placed on sand with a water potential of –1000kPa.

Cette étude examine l'effet du type de sol sur le comportement fouisseur et la formation de cocons durant l'estivation chez la rainette fouisseuse, Cyclorana alboguttata (Günther, 1867). Lorsqu'elles ont le choix, les grenouilles choisissent de fouir dans le sable humide plutôt que dans la glaise humide. Les grenouilles s'enfouissent plus rapidement et creusent des terriers plus profonds dans le sol sablonneux. Cependant, dans les conditions de laboratoire, il y a peu de différence dans les patrons d'assèchement dans les deux types de sols. Les grenouilles, tant dans les sols sablonneux que les glaiseux, subissent des conditions hydratantes durant les 3 premiers mois, puis des conditions déshydratantes durant les 3 derniers mois des 6 mois de l'estivation; les cocons ne se forment qu'après 3 mois d'estivation. Au bout de 6 mois, les cocons des grenouilles qui estivent dans le sable possèdent plus de couches que ceux des grenouilles passant l'été dans la glaise. Les grenouilles sont capables d'absorber de l'eau des sols sablonneux lorsque le potentiel hydrique est supérieur à –400kPa, mais elles perdent de l'eau lorsqu'on les place dans du sable à potentiel hydrique de –1000kPa.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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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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