Geographic variation in life-history characteristics of amphibians: a review.
1. This review examines the intraspecific patterns and differences in life-history traits of amphibian populations living at different altitudes and latitudes. Specifically we examined differences in development and growth (physiological constraints) and reproductive ecology (plasticity in reproductive traits). 2. Research published to date suggests that amphibian populations at higher altitudes and latitudes tend to: (a) have shorter activity periods, and hence shorter breeding seasons; (b) have longer larval periods; (c) are larger at all larval stages including metamorphosis; (d) are larger as adults; (e) reach reproductive maturity at older ages; (f) produce fewer clutches per year; (g) produce larger clutches absolutely and smaller clutches relative to body size; and (h) produce larger eggs. 3. These generalizations must be viewed with caution, due first to the small number of papers supporting them, and secondly to the inconsistent results published to date. 4. The implications of the intraspecific geographical variation in life history traits for general amphibian biology, amphibian population declines and conservation are discussed.
Journal of Animal Ecology
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY