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Full Access Breeding-site selection by red-belly toads, Melanophryniscus stelzneri (Anura: Bufonidae), in Sierras of Córdoba, Argentina

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Breeding-site selection by red-belly toads, Melanophryniscus stelzneri (Anura: Bufonidae), in Sierras of Córdoba, Argentina

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Differences among wetlands can have important consequences on reproductive success of amphibians; therefore habitat selection is expected to be of particular importance for anurans inhabiting heterogeneous environments. To investigate if the red-belly toad (Melanophryniscus stelzneri; Anura: Bufonidae) uses available habitats differentially and to determine the main factors influencing the use of certain water bodies as breeding habitat, we surveyed 30 spawning sites used by red-belly toads, and 30 adjacent unused sites, in an area of the Sierras of Córdoba, Argentina. We evaluated the relative importance of morphological and biotic features of ponds, and the presence of other organisms within the water body on the use of ponds as breeding sites by red-belly toads. Eight habitat variables related to important water body features were recorded and were used to fit a habitat selection model with GLM. Red-belly toads presented a positive selection to mallines, a wetland characteristic of the Sierras of Córdoba. They were associated with small, shallow ephemeral ponds with muddy banks and a high percent of vegetation cover. In general, the ponds used did not host other anuran species or potential predators. Breeding site selection by red-belly toads is largely consistent with records for other species of the genus in other parts of Argentina.

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Investigaciones Básicas y Aplicadas, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, Gorriti 237 (4600), S. S. de Jujuy, Argentina; Instituto de Bio y Geo Ciencias (IBIGEO), Universidad Nacional de Salta, Mendoza 2 (4400), Salta, Argentina; 2: Laboratorio de Herpetología y Animales Venenosos, Centro de Zoología Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Rondeau 798, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina


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