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Not just small, wet, and cold: effects of body size and skin resistance on thermoregulation and abroreality of frogs

Tracy, Christopher R., Christian, Keith A. and Tracy, C. Richard (2010). Not just small, wet, and cold: effects of body size and skin resistance on thermoregulation and abroreality of frogs. Ecology,91(5):1477-1484.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 81704288xPUB157
Title Not just small, wet, and cold: effects of body size and skin resistance on thermoregulation and abroreality of frogs
Author Tracy, Christopher R.
Christian, Keith A.
Tracy, C. Richard
Journal Name Ecology
Publication Date 2010
Volume Number 91
Issue Number 5
ISSN 0012-9658   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-77951831049
Start Page 1477
End Page 1484
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract We used simulations from a biophysical model that integrates interlinked exchanges of energy and water between frogs and their environments to address questions about the limits to thermoregulation and about adaptations for arboreality. Body size and cutaneous resistance (Rc) both significantly affected body temperature (Tb) and the time to desiccate to 70% of standard mass (an ecologically relevant metric of desiccation). Cutaneous resistances < 25 s/cm allow basking frogs to elevate their Tb several degrees above ambient, but Rc above 25 had little additional effect on Tb. Small frogs (<10 g) are able to elevate their Tb above ambient while basking, even with small Rc. Large frogs must have greater skin resistances to be able to elevate body temperatures above ambient, yet large frogs take longer to desiccate to 70% of their standard mass. Frogs can avoid rapid desiccation with high Rc, a large body size, or some combination of these traits. Our literature survey indicates that frogs with a combination of Rc and body size that would result in long times to desiccate to 70% of standard mass tend to be arboreal, suggesting that those species may be selectively favored in a niche that often requires frogs to be away from water sources for extended periods of time.




Keywords amphibian
anuran
biophysical model
body temperature
cutaneous resistance
energy balance
microclimate use
water budget
water loss rate
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/09-0839.1   (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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