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Intraspecific variation of temperature-induced effects on metamorphosis in the pool frog (Rana lessonae)

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Understanding the factors that affect the process of metamorphosis in species with complex life cycles, and in particular their variation within and among populations, has been rarely explored until recently. We examined the effects of temperature environment on several metamorphic characteristics in three populations of the pool frog (Rana lessonae Camerano, 1882) by rearing individuals at two temperature environments (20 and 25 °C). Higher temperature shortened the metamorphic period and reduced the absolute mass loss, although there was no difference between the temperatures in the percentage of mass lost. No differences among the populations were detected, but there was significant intrapopulation variation both in the mean and in the plasticity for the duration of metamorphosis. These results indicate that several aspects of metamorphosis are plastic in amphibians, these traits may have considerable intrapopulation variation, and that temperature is a strong factor affecting the process of metamorphosis.

On a rarement cherché à comprendre, jusqu’à récemment, les facteurs qui affectent le processus de la métamorphose chez les espèces à cycle biologique complexe et, en particulier, leur variation au sein des populations et d’une population à l’autre. Nous examinons les effets de l’environnement thermique sur plusieurs des caractéristiques de la métamorphose chez trois populations de la petite grenouille verte (Rana lessonae Camerano, 1882) en élevant des individus à deux températures du milieu (20 et 25 °C). La température plus élevée raccourcit la période de métamorphose et réduit la perte absolue de masse, bien qu’il n’y ait pas de différence dans les pourcentages de perte de masse entre les deux températures. Aucune différence n’a pu être décelée entre les populations, mais il existe une variation significative à l’intérieur de chaque population en ce qui a trait tant à la moyenne qu’à la plasticité de la durée de la métamorphose. Ces résultats montrent la plasticité chez les amphibiens de plusieurs aspects de la métamorphose qui peuvent présenter une importante variation au sein d’une même population, ainsi que l’importance de la température comme facteur affectant le processus de métamorphose.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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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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