Interspecific variation in the phenology of advertisement calling in a temperate Australian frog community

Geoffrey W. Heard, Stefano Canessa, Kirsten M. Parris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Spatial and temporal partitioning of resources underlies the coexistence of species with similar niches. In communities of frogs and toads, the phenology of advertisement calling provides insights into temporal partitioning of reproductive effort and its implications for community dynamics. This study assessed the phenology of advertisement calling in an anuran community from Melbourne, in southern Australia. We collated data from 1432 surveys of 253 sites and used logistic regression to quantify seasonality in the nightly probability of calling and the influence of meteorological variables on this probability for six species of frogs. We found limited overlap in the predicted seasonal peaks of calling among these species. Those shown to have overlapping calling peaks are unlikely to be in direct competition, due to differences in larval ecology (Crinia signifera and Litoria ewingii) or differences in calling behavior and acoustics (Limnodynastes dumerilii and Litoria raniformis). In contrast, closely related and ecologically similar species (Crinia signfera and Crinia parinsignifera; Litoria ewingii and Litoria verreauxii) appear to have staggered seasonal peaks of calling. In combination with interspecific variation in the meteorological correlates of calling, these results may be indicative of temporal partitioning of reproductive activity to facilitate coexistence, as has been reported for tropical and temperate anurans from other parts of the globe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3927-3938
Number of pages12
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2015

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