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Rain, Prey and Predators: Climatically Driven Shifts in Frog Abundance Modify Reproductive Allometry in a Tropical Snake

To predict the impacts of climate change on animal populations, we need long-term data sets on the effects of annual climatic variation on the demographic traits (growth, survival, reproductive output) that determine population viability. One frequent complication is that fecundity also depends upon... Full description

Journal Title: Oecologia 2007, Vol.154 (2), p.361-368
Main Author: BROWN, Gregory P
Other Authors: SHINE, Richard
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: Berlin: Springer
ID: ISSN: 0029-8549
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recordid: cdi_crossref_primary_10_1007_s00442_007_0842_8
title: Rain, Prey and Predators: Climatically Driven Shifts in Frog Abundance Modify Reproductive Allometry in a Tropical Snake
format: Article
creator:
  • BROWN, Gregory P
  • SHINE, Richard
subjects:
  • Amphibia. Reptilia
  • Animal and plant ecology
  • Animal reproduction
  • Animal, plant and microbial ecology
  • Animals
  • Anura - physiology
  • Autoecology
  • Biological and medical sciences
  • Body size
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Climate
  • Clutch size
  • Colubridae - physiology
  • Ecosystem Ecology
  • Female
  • Female animals
  • Fertility - physiology
  • Food Chain
  • Frogs
  • Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Northern Territory
  • Population Density
  • Pythons
  • Rain
  • Rainy seasons
  • Reptilia. Amphibia
  • Sex Factors
  • Snakes
  • Tropical climates
  • Vertebrata
  • Vertebrates: general zoology, morphology, phylogeny, systematics, cytogenetics, geographical distribution
ispartof: Oecologia, 2007, Vol.154 (2), p.361-368
description: To predict the impacts of climate change on animal populations, we need long-term data sets on the effects of annual climatic variation on the demographic traits (growth, survival, reproductive output) that determine population viability. One frequent complication is that fecundity also depends upon maternal body size, a trait that often spans a wide range within a single population. During an eight-year field study, we measured annual variation in weather conditions, frog abundance and snake reproduction on a floodplain in the Australian wet-dry tropics. Frog numbers varied considerably from year to year, and were highest in years with hotter wetter conditions during the monsoonal season ("wet season"). Mean maternal body sizes, egg sizes and post-partum maternal body conditions of frog-eating snakes (keelback, Tropidonophis mairii, Colubridae) showed no significant annual variation over this period, but mean clutch sizes were higher in years with higher prey abundance. Larger females were more sensitive to frog abundance in this respect than were smaller conspecifics, so that the rate at which fecundity increased with body size varied among years, and was highest when prey availability was greatest. Thus, the link between female body size and reproductive output varied among years, with climatic factors modifying the relative reproductive rates of larger (older) versus smaller (younger) animals within the keelback population.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0029-8549
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0029-8549
  • 1432-1939
url: Link


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titleRain, Prey and Predators: Climatically Driven Shifts in Frog Abundance Modify Reproductive Allometry in a Tropical Snake
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descriptionTo predict the impacts of climate change on animal populations, we need long-term data sets on the effects of annual climatic variation on the demographic traits (growth, survival, reproductive output) that determine population viability. One frequent complication is that fecundity also depends upon maternal body size, a trait that often spans a wide range within a single population. During an eight-year field study, we measured annual variation in weather conditions, frog abundance and snake reproduction on a floodplain in the Australian wet-dry tropics. Frog numbers varied considerably from year to year, and were highest in years with hotter wetter conditions during the monsoonal season ("wet season"). Mean maternal body sizes, egg sizes and post-partum maternal body conditions of frog-eating snakes (keelback, Tropidonophis mairii, Colubridae) showed no significant annual variation over this period, but mean clutch sizes were higher in years with higher prey abundance. Larger females were more sensitive to frog abundance in this respect than were smaller conspecifics, so that the rate at which fecundity increased with body size varied among years, and was highest when prey availability was greatest. Thus, the link between female body size and reproductive output varied among years, with climatic factors modifying the relative reproductive rates of larger (older) versus smaller (younger) animals within the keelback population.
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subjectAmphibia. Reptilia ; Animal and plant ecology ; Animal reproduction ; Animal, plant and microbial ecology ; Animals ; Anura - physiology ; Autoecology ; Biological and medical sciences ; Body size ; Body Weights and Measures ; Climate ; Clutch size ; Colubridae - physiology ; Ecosystem Ecology ; Female ; Female animals ; Fertility - physiology ; Food Chain ; Frogs ; Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology ; Male ; Models, Biological ; Northern Territory ; Population Density ; Pythons ; Rain ; Rainy seasons ; Reptilia. Amphibia ; Sex Factors ; Snakes ; Tropical climates ; Vertebrata ; Vertebrates: general zoology, morphology, phylogeny, systematics, cytogenetics, geographical distribution
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descriptionTo predict the impacts of climate change on animal populations, we need long-term data sets on the effects of annual climatic variation on the demographic traits (growth, survival, reproductive output) that determine population viability. One frequent complication is that fecundity also depends upon maternal body size, a trait that often spans a wide range within a single population. During an eight-year field study, we measured annual variation in weather conditions, frog abundance and snake reproduction on a floodplain in the Australian wet-dry tropics. Frog numbers varied considerably from year to year, and were highest in years with hotter wetter conditions during the monsoonal season ("wet season"). Mean maternal body sizes, egg sizes and post-partum maternal body conditions of frog-eating snakes (keelback, Tropidonophis mairii, Colubridae) showed no significant annual variation over this period, but mean clutch sizes were higher in years with higher prey abundance. Larger females were more sensitive to frog abundance in this respect than were smaller conspecifics, so that the rate at which fecundity increased with body size varied among years, and was highest when prey availability was greatest. Thus, the link between female body size and reproductive output varied among years, with climatic factors modifying the relative reproductive rates of larger (older) versus smaller (younger) animals within the keelback population.
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abstractTo predict the impacts of climate change on animal populations, we need long-term data sets on the effects of annual climatic variation on the demographic traits (growth, survival, reproductive output) that determine population viability. One frequent complication is that fecundity also depends upon maternal body size, a trait that often spans a wide range within a single population. During an eight-year field study, we measured annual variation in weather conditions, frog abundance and snake reproduction on a floodplain in the Australian wet-dry tropics. Frog numbers varied considerably from year to year, and were highest in years with hotter wetter conditions during the monsoonal season ("wet season"). Mean maternal body sizes, egg sizes and post-partum maternal body conditions of frog-eating snakes (keelback, Tropidonophis mairii, Colubridae) showed no significant annual variation over this period, but mean clutch sizes were higher in years with higher prey abundance. Larger females were more sensitive to frog abundance in this respect than were smaller conspecifics, so that the rate at which fecundity increased with body size varied among years, and was highest when prey availability was greatest. Thus, the link between female body size and reproductive output varied among years, with climatic factors modifying the relative reproductive rates of larger (older) versus smaller (younger) animals within the keelback population.
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