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Do anurans living in higher altitudes have higher prehibernation energy storage? Investigations from a high-altitude frog

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The temporal dynamics of energy storage is an important life history aspect of temperate anurans, but comparative studies of pre-hibernation energy storage of anuran populations from different altitudes are scarce. We investigated energy storage patterns for three Rana kukunoris populations living at different altitudes in the Tibetan plateau (2300 m, 2900 m and 3500 m a.s.l.). Analyses of relative energy organ weights and relative carcass weights revealed that pre-hibernation energy stores decreased with increasing altitude, and that males deposit larger energy reserves in fat bodies and liver, while females have larger energy storage in gonads. Lower pre-hibernation energy reserves with increasing altitude may be an adaptive response to a shorter activity period and lower food availability at higher altitudes, while the observed sex difference may result from differential timing of energy allocation for reproduction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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