Using pairs of physiological models to estimate temporal variation in amphibian body temperature

Roznik, Elizabeth A., and Alford, Ross A. (2014) Using pairs of physiological models to estimate temporal variation in amphibian body temperature. Journal of Thermal Biology, 45. pp. 22-29.

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Abstract

Physical models are often used to estimate ectotherm body temperatures, but designing accurate models for amphibians is difficult because they can vary in cutaneous resistance to evaporative water loss. To account for this variability, a recently published technique requires a pair of agar models that mimic amphibians with 0% and 100% resistance to evaporative water loss; the temperatures of these models define the lower and upper boundaries of possible amphibian body temperatures for the location in which they are placed. The goal of our study was to develop a method for using these pairs of models to estimate parameters describing the distributions of body temperatures of frogs under field conditions. We radiotracked green-eyed treefrogs (Litoria serrata) and collected semi continuous thermal data using both temperature sensitive radiotransmitters with an automated datalogging receiver, and pairs of agar models placed in frog locations, and we collected discrete thermal data using a noncontact infrared thermometer when frogs were located. We first examined the accuracy of temperature-sensitive transmitters in estimating frog body temperatures by comparing transmitter data with direct temperature measurements taken simultaneously for the same individuals We then compared parameters (mean, minimum, maximum, standard deviation) characterizing the distributions of temperatures of individual frogs estimated from data collected using each of the three methods. We found strong relationships between thermal parameters estimated from data collected using automated radio-telemetry and both types of thermal models. These relationships were stronger for data collected using automated radiotelemetry and impermeable thermal models, suggesting that in the field, L. serrata has relatively high resistance to evaporative water loss.Our results demonstrate that placing pairs of thermal models in frog locations can provide accurate estimates of the disributions of temperatures experienced by individual frogs, and that comparing temperatures from mode lpairs to direct measurements collected simultaneously on frogs can be used to broadly characterize the skin resistance of a species ,and to select which model type is most appropriate for estimating temperature distributions for that species.

Item ID: 34396
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0992
Keywords: body temperature, evaporative water loss, frog, physical model
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), James Cook University
Projects and Grants: ARC DP0986537, ARC DP130101635
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2014 02:49
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 25%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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