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Alarm cues experienced by cane toad tadpoles affect post-metamorphic morphology and chemical defences
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology. (Mattias Hagman)
2009 (English)In: Functional Ecology, ISSN 0269-8463, E-ISSN 1365-2435, Vol. 23, 126-132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 Summary: In many anuran species, larvae modify their developmental trajectories and behaviour in response to chemical cues that predict predator risk. Recent reviews highlight a dearth of studies on delayed (post-metamorphic) consequences of larval experience.

  • 2 We raised cane toad (Bufo marinus) tadpoles either under control conditions or in the presence of non-lethal predator cues (crushed conspecifics).
  • 3 Exposure to these chemical cues massively reduced size at metamorphosis, as predicted by theory. Parotoid glands were larger relative to body size in post-metamorphic animals from the experimental treatment, suggesting higher investment in chemical defences.
  • 4 Exposure to chemical cues from crushed conspecifics during larval life reduced total bufadienolide content of metamorphs, but increased amounts of one specific bufadienolide (bufalin).
  • 5 Hence, cane toads respond to perceived predation risk in the aquatic environment by metamorphosing at a smaller size and modifying their investment in defensive toxins during post-metamorphic life.
  • 6 Phenotypically flexible responses to larval conditions vary among amphibian taxa, and can involve significant carry-over effects into post-metamorphic life.
  • Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    2009. Vol. 23, 126-132 p.
    Keyword [en]
    Bufo marinus;chemical defences;developmental plasticity;phenotypic plasticity
    National Category
    Ecology
    Research subject
    Zoology
    Identifiers
    URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36835DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2008.01470.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-36835DiVA: diva2:290542
    Available from: 2010-01-27 Created: 2010-01-27 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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