Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Trading heat and hops for water: dehydration effects on locomotor performance, thermal limits, and thermoregulatory behavior of a terrestrial toad

Citation

Anderson, Rodolfo C.O.; Andrade, Denis V.; Anderson, Rodolfo C. O. (2017), Data from: Trading heat and hops for water: dehydration effects on locomotor performance, thermal limits, and thermoregulatory behavior of a terrestrial toad, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d5r24

Abstract

Due to their highly permeable skin and ectothermy, terrestrial amphibians are challenged by compromises between water balance and body temperature regulation. The way in which such compromises are accommodated, under a range of temperatures and dehydration levels, impacts importantly the behavior and ecology of amphibians. Thus, using the terrestrial toad Rhinella schneideri as a model organism, the goals of this study were twofold. First, we determined how the thermal sensitivity of a centrally relevant trait—locomotion—was affected by dehydration. Secondly, we examined the effects of the same levels of dehydration on thermal preference and thermal tolerance. As dehydration becomes more severe, the optimal temperature for locomotor performance was lowered and performance breadth narrower. Similarly, dehydration was accompanied by a decrease in the thermal tolerance range. Such a decrease was caused by both an increase in the critical minimal temperature and a decrease in the thermal maximal temperature, with the latter changing more markedly. In general, our results show that the negative effects of dehydration on behavioral performance and thermal tolerance are, at least partially, counteracted by concurrent adjustments in thermal preference. We discuss some of the potential implications of this observation for the conservation of anuran amphibians.

Usage Notes