Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Singly laid mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum) eggs resist mortality from water mold infection

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

Parasites and pathogens are noteworthy forces in evolutionary and population biology. Water molds are known to infect and kill amphibian eggs, and masses placed in clusters sometimes suffer greater losses. Thus, selection may favor single oviposition behavior in which females scatter individual eggs to avoid contact with dead eggs, thereby lowering the chances of hyphal spread. I tested the hypothesis that eggs in physical contact with dead eggs are more susceptible to death via pathogen infection using a singly laying urodele, the mole salamander, whose congeners mostly lay eggs in masses. Focal eggs were placed in replicated containers with variable egg contact (physically touching or separated) by treatment eggs that varied in status (dead or alive). The effect of egg arrangement was significant, with focal eggs surviving better to hatching when not contacting treatment eggs. Although treatment egg status (dead vs. alive) was not influential on its own, the interaction between egg contact and status was an important determinant of focal egg survival. Only when eggs were physically touching was it important whether they were dead or alive. Moreover, when eggs were touching there was a significant positive association between focal egg survival and the number of surviving treatment eggs. Water mold infected most dead eggs in all treatment groups. This study shows that mole salamander eggs are more likely to die when touching other eggs that have perished, most likely because of a greater chance of water mold infection. Such mortality may have contributed to diversification of egg-laying behavior in amphibians and shows a potentially compounding fitness cost of diminished fertilization success and embryo viability.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Beebee T.J.C. , Griffiths R.A. ( 2005). "The amphibian decline crisis: a watershed for conservation biology?"— Biol. Conserv. Vol 125: 271- 285.
2. Benjamini Y. , Hochberg Y. ( 1995). "Controlling the false discovery rate: a practical and powerful approach to multiple testing". — J. Roy. Stat. Soc. B Vol 57: 289- 300.
3. Blaustein A.R. , Gervasi S.S. , Johnson P.T.J. , Hoverman J.T. , Belden L.K. , Bradley P.W. , Xie G.Y. ( 2012). "Ecophysiology meets conservation: understanding the role of disease in amphibian population declines". — Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B Vol 367: 1688- 1707.
4. Blaustein A.R. , Hokit D.G. , O’Hara R.K. ( 1994). "Pathogenic fungus contributes to amphibian losses in the Pacific Northwest". — Biol. Conserv. Vol 67: 251- 254.
5. Croshaw D.A. , Scott D.E. ( 2005). "Experimental evidence that nest attendance benefits female marbled salamanders ( Ambystoma opacum) by reducing egg mortality". — Am. Midl. Nat. Vol 154: 398- 411.[0398:EETNAB]2.0.CO;2
6. Crump M.L. ( 1996). "Parental care among the amphibia". — Adv. Stud. Behav. Vol 25: 109- 144.
7. Czeczuga B. , Muszynska E. , Krzeminska A. ( 1998). "Aquatic fungi growing on the spawn of certain amphibians". — Amphibia-Reptilia Vol 19: 239- 251.
8. Duellman W.E. , Trueb L. ( 1986). Biology of amphibians. — McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
9. Fernandez-Beneitez M.J. , Ortiz-Santaliestra M.E. , Lizana M. , Dieguez-Uribeondo J. ( 2011). "Differences in susceptibility to Saprolegniainfections among embryonic stages of two anuran species". — Oecologia Vol 165: 819- 826.
10. Forester D.C. ( 1979). "The adaptiveness of parental care in Desmognathus ochrophaeus(Urodela: Plethodontidae)". — Copeia: 332- 341.
11. Gomez-Mestre I. , Touchon J.C. , Warkentin K.M. ( 2006). "Amphibian embryo and parental defenses and a larval predator reduce egg mortality from water mold". — Ecology Vol 87: 2570- 2581.[2570:AEAPDA]2.0.CO;2
12. Green A.J. ( 1999). "Implications of pathogenic fungi for life-history evolution in amphibians". — Funct. Ecol. Vol 13: 573- 575.
13. Haddad C.F.B. , Prado C.P.A. ( 2005). "Reproductive modes in frogs and their unexpected diversity in the Atlantic forest of Brazil". — Bioscience Vol 55: 207- 217.[0207:RMIFAT]2.0.CO;2
14. Harrison R.G. ( 1969). "Harrison stages and description of the normal development of the spotted salamander, Ambystoma punctatum(Linn.)". — In: Organization and development of the embryo( Harrison R.G. , ed.). Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, p.  44- 66.
15. Jennions M.D. , Petrie M. ( 2000). "Why do females mate multiply? A review of the genetic benefits". — Biol. Rev. Vol 75: 21- 64.
16. Kiesecker J.M. , Blaustein A.R. ( 1997). "Influences of egg laying behavior on pathogenic infection of amphibian eggs". — Conserv. Biol. Vol 11: 214- 220.
17. Kilpatrick A.M. , Briggs C.J. , Daszak P. ( 2010). "The ecology and impact of chytridiomycosis: an emerging disease of amphibians". — Trends Ecol. Evol. Vol 25: 109- 118.
18. Kurdikova V. , Smolinsky R. , Gvozdik L. ( 2011). "Mothers matter too: benefits of temperature oviposition preferences in newts". — PLoS ONE Vol 6: e23842.
19. Marco A. , Lizana M. , Alvarez A. , Blaustein A.R. ( 2001). "Egg-wrapping behaviour protects newt embryos from UV radiation". — Anim. Behav. Vol 61: 639- 644.
20. Miaud C. ( 1993). "Predation of newt eggs ( Triturus alpestrisand T. helveticus): identification of predators and protective role of oviposition behaviour". — J. Zool. Vol 231: 575- 582.
21. Miaud C. ( 1994). "Role of wrapping behavior on egg survival in three species of Triturus(Amphibia: Urodela)". — Copeia: 535- 537.
22. Ortiz-Santaliestra M.E. , Marco A. , Fernandez-Beneitez M.J. , Lizana M. ( 2007). "Effects of ammonium nitrate exposure and water acidification on the dwarf newt: the protective effect of oviposition behaviour on embryonic survival". — Aquat. Toxicol. Vol 85: 251- 257.
23. Paterson S. , Piertney S.B. ( 2011). "Frontiers in host-parasite ecology and evolution". — Mol. Ecol. Vol 20: 869- 871.
24. Petranka J.W. ( 1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. — Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.
25. Petrisko J.E. , Pearl C.A. , Pilliod D.S. , Sheridan P.P. , Williams C.F. , Peterson C.R. , Bury R.B. ( 2008). "Saprolegniaceae identified on amphibian eggs throughout the Pacific Northwest, USA, by internal transcribed spacer sequences and phylogenetic analysis". — Mycologia Vol 100: 171- 180.
26. Richter S.C. ( 2000). "Larval caddisfly predation on the eggs and embryos of Rana capitoand Rana sphenocephala ". — J. Herpetol. Vol 34: 590- 593.
27. Robinson J. , Griffiths R.A. , Jeffries P. ( 2003). "Susceptibility of frog ( Rana temporaria) and toad ( Bufo bufo) eggs to invasion by Saprolegnia ". — Amphibia-Reptilia Vol 24: 261- 268.
28. Rollins-Smith L.A. ( 1998). "Metamorphosis and the amphibian immune system". — Immunol. Rev. Vol 166: 221- 230.
29. Ruthig G.R. ( 2008). "The influence of temperature and spatial distribution on the susceptibility of southern leopard frog eggs to disease". — Oecologia Vol 156: 895- 903.
30. Ruthig G.R. ( 2009). "Water molds of the genera Saprolegniaand Leptolegniaare pathogenic to the North American frogs Rana catesbeianaand Pseudacris crucifer, respectively". — Dis. Aquat. Org. Vol 84: 173- 178.
31. Semlitsch R.D. , Walls S.C. ( 1990). "Geographic variation in the egg-laying strategy of the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum ". — Herpetol. Rev. Vol 21: 14- 15.
32. Sharitz R.R. ( 2003). "Carolina bay wetlands: unique habitats of the southeastern United States". — Wetlands Vol 23: 550- 562.[0550:CBWUHO]2.0.CO;2
33. Todd B.D. ( 2007). "Parasites lost? An overlooked hypothesis for the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies in amphibians". — Am. Nat. Vol 170: 793- 799.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation