The Neotropical region presents the richest fauna of anurans amphibians (frogs, toads and treefrogs) in the world. Especially diverse faunas occur in warm and moist tropical locations, as in the Amazon Basin: about 600 species are known from this region, but several studies indicate that these numbers are clearly underestimated. A question of central interest for community ecologists is how is possible the coexistence of species, in particular in ‘biodiversity hotspots’ such as tropical rainforests. Ecological and evolutionary processes operating at different temporal and spatial scales influence community structure and species distribution. However, relatively few are the studies on Amazonian anuran communities, and many of them are restricted to breeding site choice and breeding phenology based on male calling activity. The larval phase (tadpoles), recognized in many species as the period in the life cycle when most of mortality occurs and thus important in the regulation of adult populations, has been comparatively neglected in field and taxonomic studies. Recent research projects are increasing our knowledge about tadpole assemblages in the Neotropics, including Central Amazonia, where aspects of taxonomy, morphology, natural history and ecology have been investigated. However, they answer only a small fraction of the interesting questions about tadpoles and their life histories. This project focuses on the species composition, habitat use, natural history and ecology of the tadpole communities of “terra firme” forests and floodplain lakes in Central Amazonia, which present high diversity of species, reproductive modes, and larval eco-morphotypes. Special attention is given to morphological characteristics, development and the patterns in resource utilization; moreover, the effects of biotic (predation) and abiotic factors (habitat structure and water quality) that contribute to current community structure were determined. (AU)
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
VENESKY, MATTHEW D.;
ROSSA-FERES, DENISE C.;
DE ANDRADE, GILDA VASCONCELLOS;
PEZZUTI, TIAGO LEITE;
TSUTAE DE SOUSA, VERONICA THIEMI;
ANDERSON, CHRISTOPHER V.;
WASSERSUG, RICHARD J.
Comparative feeding kinematics of tropical hylid tadpoles.
Journal of Experimental Biology,
Web of Science Citations: 8.