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Intra-and interspecific variation in microhabitats selection and its relevance to the maintenance of water balance in anurans

Grant number: 12/15129-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2012
Effective date (End): January 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology
Principal researcher:Fernando Ribeiro Gomes
Grantee:Maya Romano Maia
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The amphibians are generally characterized with a particularly low skin resistance to evaporative water loss, especially when compared to other tetrapods. Thus, mechanisms associated to water detection, absorption and conservation alongside with appropriate microhabitat selection are fundamental to the maintenance of hydric balance in this group. The microhabitat characterization is, therefore, an essential aspect to understand the coevolution of physiological and behavioral traits associated with hydric balance in this group, as well as to understand the underlying selection pressures. Despite the visible relevance of this topic, it has been highly bypassed both by ecologists and physiologists. The purpose of this work is to inquire about the existence of coadaptative patterns between (1) duration of the reproductive season, (2) variation in microhabitats chosen as calling sites that are characterized by different temperatures and potential for dehydration along the reproductive season, (3) variation in evaporative water loss resistance, and (4) variation in efficiency of selection of humid microhabitats. To accomplish this task, field studies will be conducted alongside with laboratorial experiments will test efficiency in moist microhabitat selection.

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