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Phenotypic plasticity in the larval development of anurans: effects of temperature and their relationships with the reproductive season

Grant number: 17/04777-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2017
Effective date (End): July 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Tiana Kohlsdorf
Grantee:Renan Lopes Rodrigues
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/07650-6 - Ecology, evolution and development (Eco-Evo-Devo) in the Brazilian herpetofauna, AP.TEM

Abstract

Environmental parameters may influence the establishment of certain phenotypes during the organism development. Among vertebrates, amphibians are particularly sensitive to variations in environmental conditions, with temperature being an environmental component that strongly influences larval development. Despite the extensive theoretical framework evaluating the effects of variations in environmental conditions on tadpoles development, few studies present an integrative view of the influence of different factors in the establishment of phenotype during ontogeny. The present master project aims at verifying the hypothesis that variations in the thermal regime during larval development, involving even striking perturbations characterized by thermal shocks, affect development differently in anuran species that reproduce in winter and summer. The project will be implemented comparing species of anurans that reproduce in different seasons of the year (winter and summer), using 2 representatives of each of the following genera of Anura: Rhinella, Leptodactylus and Hypsiboas. Approximately 750 tadpoles of each species will be kept in different thermal regimes during specific stages of larval development. Morphometric analyzes will be used to verify the phenotypic effects of imposed environmental disturbances. The proposal stands out by applying an integrative approach in the investigation of the plastic response to the same environmental factor (temperature) by comparing species that reproduce in different seasons in the year. The information obtained will be particularly relevant given the current scenario of acceleration in climate change and global warming and are especially useful for accessing species vulnerability to drastic environmental changes.