I reared four species of anurans (Rana sphenocephala [Southern Leopard Frog], Rana blairi [Plains Leopard Frog], Rana clamitans [Green Frog], and Bufo woodhousii [Woodhouse's Toad]) for seven to 12 months in small, outdoor terrestrial enclosures (1 x 2 m) to examine the consequences of larval competition (via density) and contaminant exposure (via the insecticide carbaryl). I added six Rana clamitans, eight Rana sphenocephala, eight Rana blairi, and 10 Bufo woodhousii to terrestrial enclosures shortly after metamorphosis and recaptured them during the following spring. All anurans from low-density ponds were significantly larger than those from high-density ponds, but these size differences did not significantly affect survival to or size at spring emergence. However, R. sphenocephala, R. blairi, and R. clamitans that survived to spring had been larger at metamorphosis on average than those that did not survive; in contrast, B. woodhousii that survived the winter were smaller at metamorphosis on average than those that did not survive. Carbaryl exposure affected mass at metamorphosis of R. clamitans and B. woodhousii that were added to enclosures, but this difference disappeared or did not increase by spring emergence. Overall, exposure to carbaryl during the larval period did not have any apparent effects on survival or growth during the terrestrial phase. In my study, anurans were able to offset small size at metamorphosis with terrestrial growth, although there was a trend of reduced overwinter survival for ranid species that metamorphosed at a smaller size. Copyright 2005 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
Additional publication details
Juvenile frogs compensate for small metamorph size with terrestrial growth: Overcoming the effects of larval density and insecticide exposure