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A field study of survival, growth, biomass and temperature dependence of Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria larvae

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The ecology of eggs and tadpoles of the European brown frogs Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria was investigated in six Danish ponds. Developmental time of eggs was a logarithmic function of temperature with the same exponents for both species. However the time constant was double in the early breeding R. dalmatina so hatching appears contemporarily at the actual temperatures. Tadpole growth was fitted better by the logistic than the Gompertz function. Transformation size diverged by a factor of 2 among populations intraspecifically; this is explained by food limitation. It is suggested that interspecific competition might have contributed to present distribution. Population sizes declined exponentially. Overall survival from eggs to froglets ranged from 1.8 to 6.7 % with the highest survival in the fast-growing R. temporaria. Interspecific differences in mortality rates remained inappreciable. Since mortality does not seem to be size-limited, factors influencing developmental time might affect populations appreciably. The importance of the tadpole phase in population regulation is stressed, especially in R. dalmatina, in which survival during the first 3 month nearly equalled survival during next 33 months from froglets to adults in females.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Biology, University of Odense, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark


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