Severe population declines of amphibians have been shown to be attributed to climate change. Nevertheless, the various mechanisms through which climate can influence population dynamics of amphibians remain to be assessed, notably to disentangle the relative synergetic or antagonistic influences of temperature and precipitations on specific life history stages. We investigated the impact of rainfall and temperature on the egg-clutch abundance in a population of agile frog (Rana dalmatina) during 29 years (1987–2016) on 14 breeding sites located in Brenne Natural Park, France. Specifically, we examined the influence of environmental conditions occurring during five temporal windows of the year cycle corresponding to specific life history stages. Overall, our results suggest that the year-to-year fluctuations of egg-clutch abundances in Brenne Natural Park were partly dependent on local climatic conditions (rainfall and temperature). Climate seemed to influence breeding frogs during the autumn-winter period preceding reproduction. Spring and summer conditions did not influence reproduction. Additionally, we failed to detect effects of climatic conditions on newly metamorphosed individuals. Other factors such as density dependence and inter-specific interactions with introduced predators are likely to play a significant role in reproduction dynamics of the studied frog populations.
Naturwissenschaften – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 19, 2017
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