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Ecology of Aestivation in a Cocoon-forming Frog, Cyclorana australis (Hylidae)

Tracy, Christopher R., Reynolds, Stephen J., McArthur, Lorrae J., Tracey, C. Richard and Christian, Keith A. (2007). Ecology of Aestivation in a Cocoon-forming Frog, Cyclorana australis (Hylidae). Copeia,2007(4):901-912.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 19 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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IRMA ID 78672763xPUB21
Title Ecology of Aestivation in a Cocoon-forming Frog, Cyclorana australis (Hylidae)
Author Tracy, Christopher R.
Reynolds, Stephen J.
McArthur, Lorrae J.
Tracey, C. Richard
Christian, Keith A.
Journal Name Copeia
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 2007
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0045-8511   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-37848999645
Start Page 901
End Page 912
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher American society of ichthyologists and herpetologists
Field of Research 0602 - Ecology
0608 - Zoology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract We examined burrow microclimate and cocoon formation of the burrowing frog, Cyclorana australis, from northern Australia, during the dormancy season by monitoring frogs in burrows in the field. At the beginning of the dry season, while the soils were still quite moist, frogs dug shallow burrows, with 2–8 cm of soil above the top of the burrow chamber. The frogs spent 2–3 months underground without cocoons, but they began to form cocoons once the soils dried to water potentials that would dehydrate the frogs (as determined by laboratory experiments on water exchange). Frogs remained underground for up to six months, and then emerged when soil water potentials were great enough to permit water absorption, although it is unclear whether this was the primary cue for emergence. Soil temperatures adjacent to burrows were intermediate to those in full sun and full shade at 10-cm depth and increased throughout the dormancy period. Frogs removed from burrows after 2–4 months underground had a body mass 136% of their standard mass, indicating that burrowed frogs store a considerable amount of water in the bladder while in the burrows in the early weeks of aestivation. Because C. australis absorb water during the first part of aestivation (or at least maintain water they absorbed prior to burrowing), and construct a relatively impermeable cocoon during the latter part of aestivation, when they could lose water, these frogs may never experience water stress, despite being underground in the dry season for 5–6 months.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/0045-8511(2007)7[901:EOAIAC]2.0.CO;2   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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