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Inability of adult Limnodynastes peronii (Amphibia: Anura) to thermally acclimate locomotor performance.

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Physiological Ecology Laboratory, Department of Zoology and Entomology, The University of Queensland, QLD 4072, St. Lucia,


Despite several studies on adult amphibians, only larvae of the striped marsh frog (Limnodynastes peronii) have been reported to possess the ability to compensate for the effects of cool temperature on locomotor performance by thermal acclimation. In this study, we investigated whether this thermal acclimatory ability is shared by adult L. peronii. We exposed adult L. peronii to either 18 or 30 degrees C for 8 weeks and tested their swimming and jumping performance at six temperatures between 8 and 35 degrees C. Acute changes in temperature affected both maximum swimming and jumping performance, however there was no difference between the two treatment groups in locomotor performance between 8 and 30 degrees C. Maximum swimming velocity of both groups increased from 0.62+/-0.02 at 8 degrees C to 1.02+/-0.03 m s(-1) at 30 degrees C, while maximum jump distance increased from approximately 20 to >60 cm over the same temperature range. Although adult L. peronii acclimated to 18 degrees C failed to produce a locomotor response at 35 degrees C, this most likely reflected a change in thermal tolerance limits with acclimation rather than modifications in the locomotor system. As all adult amphibians studied to date are incapable of thermally acclimating locomotor performance, including adults of L. peronii, this acclimatory capacity appears to be absent from the adult stage of development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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