Acoustic segregation is a way to reduce competition and allows for species coexistence within anuran communities. Thus, separation in at least one acoustic niche dimension is expected, which also contributes to achieving effective communication among frogs. Here we studied an assemblage of five terrestrial egg-laying anuran species, all in the genus Eleutherodactylus, in a montane rainforest in eastern Cuba. Our aim was to determine if partitioning exists between these species in any dimension (time, signal frequency or space) of the acoustic niche. The studied assemblage had the following characteristics: (1) there was one diurnal species, two species with calling activity throughout the day and two species that call at night; (2) only two species overlapped in call frequencies and most had different calls, both in terms of dominant frequencies and in temporal characteristics; and (3) males of the species that overlapped in vocalizing time or signal frequency used different calling microhabitats or heights. This study provides evidence for the acoustic niche hypothesis in anurans, showing low probabilities of interference in sound communication among these frogs. The five species were separated in at least one of the three acoustic dimensions (calling time, frequency and site) as it occurs in mainland communities with more sympatric species of several genera. Conversely, species in single-genus communities studied in Puerto Rico overlapped completely in calling times. This seems to be due to the higher number of sympatric species at our site.
Boquimpani-FreitasL.Ventura MarraR.Van SluysM.RochaC.F.D. (2007): Temporal niche of acoustic activity in anurans: interspecific and seasonal variation in a Neotropical assemblage from south-eastern Brazil. Amphibia-Reptilia28: 269-276.
GerhardtH.C. (1988): Acoustic properties used in call recognition by frogs and toads. In: The Evolution of the Amphibian Auditory System p. 455-483. FritzschB.RyanM.J.WilczynskiW.HetheringtonT.E.WalkowiakW. Eds John Wiley & SonsNew York.
GillespieG.R.LockieD.ScroggieM.P.IskandarD.T. (2004): Habitat use by stream-breeding frogs in south-east Sulawesi, with some preliminary observations on community organization. J. Trop. Ecol.20: 439-448.
GoutteS.DuboisA.HowardS.D.MarquezR.RowleyJ.J.L.DehlingJ.M.GrandcolasP.XiongR.C.LegendreF. (2018): How the environment shapes animal signals: a test of the acoustic adaptation hypothesis in frogs. J. Evol. Biol.31: 148-158.
LittlejohnM.J. (1977): Long-range acoustic communication in anurans: an integrated and evolutionary approach. In: The Reproductive Biology of Amphibians p. 263-294. TaylorD.H.GuttmanS.I. Eds PlenumNew York.
LöttersS.SchickS.ScheelkeK.TeegeP.KosuchJ.RotichD.VeithM. (2004): Bio-sketches and partitioning of sympatric reed frogs, genus Hyperolius (Amphibia; Hyperoliidae), in two humid tropical African forest regions. J. Nat. Hist.38: 1969-1997. DOI:10.1080/00222930310001613584.
MayerG.C. (2012): Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In: Island Lists of West Indian Amphibians and Reptiles p. 136-147. PowellR.HendersonR.W. Eds Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 51(2).
Ríos-LópezN.Villanueva-RiveraL.J. (2013): Acoustic characteristics of a native anuran (Amphibia) assemblage in a palustrine herbaceous wetland from Puerto Rico. Life: The Excitement of Biology1: 118-135.
WeitzmanM.S. (1970): Measures of the overlap of income distribution of White and Negro families in the United States. Technical Report No. 22 Washington D.C. US Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census.
WellsK.D. (1977): The social behaviour of anuran amphibians. Anim. Behav.25: 666-693.