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Breeding phenology of an amphibian community in a Mediterranean area

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

We studied the temporal breeding patterns and strategies of anuran assemblages in the Mediterranean region over five consecutive years. We collected monthly data on the number of clutches, tadpoles and juveniles presence of six species in 98 ponds. The data showed a great temporal segregation of species. Species using permanent ponds have a breeding peak that is related to temperature whereas reproductive success in temporary pond breeders is determined by rainfall pulses. Many species showed great plasticity of reproduction with two peaks: one in spring and the other in autumn. In spite of this temporal segregation, a large overlap was observed among species during the larval phase period. Three species (Alytes obstetricans, Pelodytes punctatus and Rana perezi) have over-wintering tadpoles. We discuss temporal segregation, differences between species in their breeding strategies and variable conditions between years as factors that favour the temporal coexistence of species in the Mediterranean region.


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