Habitat-specific constraints on induced hatching in a treefrog with reproductive mode plasticity
Many organisms show adaptive phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental variation. Some environmental factors may, however, impose constraints on the ability of organisms to respond to other factors. The neotropical treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus lays eggs both above water on leaves and directly in water, thereby exposing embryos to different abiotic conditions and predator communities. Rising pond levels can also flood arboreal clutches after rainstorms. We tested for predator-induced hatching in submerged and arboreal D. ebraccatus egg masses and assessed effects of prior hydration or desiccation on escape success in attacks by a terrestrial predator, Azteca ants, and an aquatic predator, large conspecific tadpoles. Embryos responded to both aquatic and terrestrial predator attacks by hatching prematurely, as much as 67% earlier than the peak of hatching in undisturbed clutches. Desiccation reduced the hatching response of terrestrial embryos, resulting in substantially lower escape rates. This desiccation effect disappeared rapidly with flooding; all embryos showed high escape hatching success underwater. The occurrence of predator-induced escape hatching in response to 2 different predators, in 2 different physical environments, suggests that this is a general response of D. ebraccatus to egg predator attack. Both ant attack and sublethal desiccation are common in nature, thus the inhibition of escape hatching in this context likely impacts tadpole recruitment. More generally, we demonstrate that an adaptive plastic response to risk is contingent on additional environmental variables and suggest that many instances of plasticity may similarly be modified by environmental constraints. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:169-175. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.