, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 55-66
Date: 11 Jul 2008

Diversity of reproductive modes in anurans communities in the Caatinga (dryland) of northeastern Brazil

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Anuran reproductive activities in xeric environments are strongly influenced by local rainfall and temperatures. Anuran species that inhabit the Caatinga biome in northeastern Brazil demonstrate numerous behavioral and reproductive strategies that avoid or minimize the negative effects of elevated temperatures and scarce water resources on egg development. Among the various anuran species found in the Caatinga region, members of the family Leptodactylidae demonstrate the greatest number of reproductive modes adapted to a terrestrial life style while most of the Hylidae species are more susceptible to variations in water availability. Laying eggs in foam nests is a common strategy among species that inhabit environments with open vegetation forms and water resources that are restricted to only short periods during the year. Data concerning anuran communities in the localities examined here indicated a greater diversity of reproductive modes in ponds with more diverse vegetation structures and longer periods of water availability indicating that the deeper the temporary ponds (permitting a longer hydroperiod) the more diverse will be the aquatic and bordering vegetation, and the richer will be the diversity of anuran species observed and the number of reproductive modes encountered there.