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Thermal Dependence of Anuran Burst Locomotor Performance

Travis W. Knowles and Peter D. Weigl
Copeia
Vol. 1990, No. 3 (Sep. 19, 1990), pp. 796-802
DOI: 10.2307/1446445
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1446445
Page Count: 7
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Thermal Dependence of Anuran Burst Locomotor Performance
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Abstract

Five species of anuran amphibians with different thermal ecologies, representing two families, were tested for thermal sensitivity of maximum jump distance. Experimental temperature significantly affected the maximum jump distance of all species, and the hypothesis that anuran burst locomotor performance is thermally independent was rejected. The optimal temperature range varied among species: Rana clamitans and R. sylvatica (family Ranidae) had narrow thermal optima, whereas Acris crepitans, Hyla femoralis, and Pseudacris triseriata (family Hylidae) showed performance plateaus over a 10 C temperature range. Additionally, chronic effects of acclimation at 5 and 22 C were assessed for R. sylvatica and P. triseriata. Two compensatory responses occurred: inverse compensation of locomotion in R. sylvatica, and no compensation in P. triseriata. Quantitative ecological data, especially regarding variation in active field body temperatures, as well as further comparative physiological studies are required to assess adaptive patterns for the thermal sensitivity of anuran burst locomotion.

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