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J Therm Biol. 2016 Aug;60:237-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2016.07.019. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

Thermal tolerance in the Andean toad Rhinella spinulosa (Anura: Bufonidae) at three sites located along a latitudinal gradient in Chile.

Author information

1
Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Campus Los Ángeles, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 341, Los Ángeles, Chile; Departamento de Zoología, Campus Concepción, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile. Electronic address: nicza7@gmail.com.
2
Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Campus Los Ángeles, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 341, Los Ángeles, Chile.
3
Departamento de Zoología, Campus Concepción, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile.

Abstract

Rhinella spinulosa is one of the anuran species with the greatest presence in Chile. This species mainly inhabits mountain habitats and is distributed latitudinally along the western slope of the Andes Range. These habitats undergo great temperature fluctuations, exerting pressure on the amphibian. To identify the physiological strategies and thermal behavior of this species, we analyzed the temperature variables CTmin, CTmax, TTR, τheat, and τcool in individuals of three sites from a latitudinal gradient (22°S to 37°S). The amphibians were acclimated to 10°C and 20°C and fed ad libitum. The results indicate that the species has a high thermal tolerance range, with a mean of 38.14±1.34°C, a critical thermal maxima of 34.6-41.4°C, and a critical thermal minima of 2.6-0.8°C, classifying the species as eurythermic. Furthermore, there were significant differences in CTmáx and TTR only in the northern site. The differences in thermal time constants between sites are due to the effects of size and body mass. For example, those from the central site had larger size and greater thermal inertia; therefore, they warmed and cooled in a slower manner. The wide thermal limits determined in R. spinulosa confirm that it is a thermo-generalist species, a characteristic that allows the species to survive in adverse microclimatic conditions. The level of plasticity in critical temperatures seems ecologically relevant and supports the acclimatization of thermal limits as an important factor for ectothermic animals to adapt to climate change.

KEYWORDS:

Andean toad; Latitudinal effect; Thermal biology

PMID:
27503738
DOI:
10.1016/j.jtherbio.2016.07.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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