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Causes of Larval Drift of the Fire Salamander, Salamandra salamandra terrestris, and Its Effects on Population Dynamics

Burkhard Thiesmeier and Helmut Schuhmacher
Oecologia
Vol. 82, No. 2 (1990), pp. 259-263
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4219231
Page Count: 5
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Causes of Larval Drift of the Fire Salamander, Salamandra salamandra terrestris, and Its Effects on Population Dynamics
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Abstract

The larval drift of the fire salamander was investigated over a period of three years in a mountain brook (Niederbergisches Land, F.R. Germany), as well in a laboratory water channel. The rate of larval drift fluctuated between 19% and 41% of the total population of larvae in a defined section of the brook during these three years. Most (83%) of the drifting larvae were hatchlings or very young stages. The drift was dependent on the strength of the current, the number of spawning females, the presence of suitable hiding places, sufficient space and adequate food. Hungry larvae drifted more often than satiated animals. The drift behaviour of hatchlings differed distinctly from that of older larvae. The significance of ecological factors on larval drift is discussed. It is evidently a more important factor in selection than has hitherto been recognized.

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