Save

Breeding behaviour of ectotherms at high latitudes: the case of the natterjack toad Epidalea calamita at its northern range limit

In: Behaviour
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Zoology, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

We explored the breeding behaviour of a threatened amphibian, the natterjack toad, at its northern range limit in Estonia, to determine the extent to which reproduction is affected by harsh and unstable climatic conditions. Using photo identification of specimens, we found that in optimal weather conditions males formed three breeding cohorts, while in adverse conditions only a single cohort occurred and under extreme conditions reproduction was skipped entirely. During the extended breeding season, larger males participated in reproduction throughout the breeding period, while smaller males appeared in later cohorts. Breeding success was related to the calling effort of a male, where larger males had greater mating success than smaller ones. We found that the natterjack toad males exhibit significant plasticity in reproductive behaviour at the northern range limit, which, given the energetic cost of reproduction and the increased risk of predation, allows them to increase their fitness at high latitudes.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 130 130 40
Full Text Views 3 3 1
PDF Views & Downloads 10 10 2