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Temporal segregation in larval amphibian communities in temporary ponds at a locality in SW Spain

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The amphibian community of the Biological Reserve of Doñana (SW Spain) is composed of 10 species, their period of larval occurrence commonly taking place from autumn to early summer, although it may vary from year to year in relation to the flooding conditions of ponds. A segregation is observed according to temporal use of temporary ponds by larvae of different species. Pelobates cultripes and Discoglossus galganoi tadpoles occur in ponds during their whole persistence, from flooding to drying up. Hyla meridionalis, Triturus marmoratus and Triturus boscai larvae commonly exploit a shorter temporal range, appearing about two months later until early summer. Bufo bufo, Bufo calamita and normally also Rana perezi have the shortest larval periods, of about two months. Rana perezi is also characterized by its delay in temporal use of the ponds in comparison with the other species. The flexibility of the larval period season is considered an adaptation to the unpredictability of temporary ponds. Thus, under certain climatic conditions, the two first groups of species may occur in the same temporal range.

Affiliations: 1: Estación Biológica de Doñana. Apartado 1056, 41080 Sevilla, Spain


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