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Identifying and characterizing microclimates for thermal dynamics and microbial communities available for thermoregulation in frogs of the Atlantic Forest

Grant number: 16/15297-7
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: October 15, 2016 - November 19, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Compared Physiology
Principal researcher:Carlos Arturo Navas Iannini
Grantee:Carlos Arturo Navas Iannini
Visiting researcher: Catherine Robb Bevier
Visiting researcher institution: Colby College, United States
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/16320-7 - Impacts of climate/environmental change on the fauna: an integrative approach, AP.PFPMCG.TEM


As ectotherms, anuran amphibians face constant challenges to meet requirements of thermoregulation in the kinds of heterogeneous environments they occupy. This is true especially when a frog becomes sick and the response of behavioral fever triggers more directed habitat choice. These frogs encounter microhabitats and arrays of complex environmental microbiomes that can facilitate behavioral fever, but how these are distributed and accessible across a landscape are not yet known. In this project, we will explore the relationship between available thermal landscapes and the environmental microbiota of forested habitats in an effort to ultimately better understand the implications for behavioral responses to infection in anuran amphibians of Parque Estadual Intervales. We will sample operative temperatures using frog replicas manipulated to simulate different behavioral strategies. These will be placed strategically in diverse microhabitats that vary in thermal regime and potentially support complex microbial communities. Three specific goals are to 1) determine the potential for microhabitats to provide areas for thermoregulation and production of behavioral fever, 2) determine the implications of sick (e.g. static/passive) behavior on body temperature, and 3) characterize the microbial community of those microhabitats defined for (1). It may be that frogs that are infected, or that may be avoiding infection, use habitats with microclimates that provide a higher temperature and more beneficial microbes than habitats with lower overall temperatures and fewer microbes as long as these are available. (AU)

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