|SREL Reprint #1120|
of Pond Drying to the Reproductive Success of the Salamander Ambystoma talpoideum
The relationship of pond drying, female population
size, and total egg production to the reproductive success (number of
metamorphosing juveniles) of the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum
was studied in natural and experimental populations.
Breeding population size was correlated with rainfall during the
migratory season but not with the production of juveniles in the previous year.
Reproductive success and survival to metamorphosis were correlated with
the number of days in a year that a pond had standing water but not with the
number of breeding females or total number of eggs oviposited.
The time of metamorphosis was correlated with the date that the pond
dried. However, metamorphosing
later in the season did not result in larger body size at metamorphosis, only
more metamorphs. Catastrophic
mortality occurred when breeding ponds dried early, resulting from the failure
of larvae to reach a threshold size or developmental stage to initiate
metamorphosis. Manipulation of an
experimental pond suggested that growth rate of larvae decreased as the pond
dried. Desiccation was identified
as a factor influencing the fluctuations in reproductive success of a species
breeding in temporary ponds.
SREL Reprint #1120
Semlitsch, R.D. 1987. Relationship of pond drying to the
reproductive success of the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum.