Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 137, Issue 3, pp 344–351 | Cite as

Energetics of metamorphic climax in the southern toad (Bufo terrestris)

  • Christopher W. BeckEmail author
  • Justin D. Congdon
Ecophysiology

Abstract

During metamorphic climax, anuran larvae must rely on stored energy because changes in oral and digestive morphology prevent foraging and efficient assimilation. Thus, the time required to store adequate energy for metamorphic climax may set a lower limit on age at which it can occur. Therefore, the amount and type of energy used during metamorphic climax must be determined. To quantify the energetic costs of metamorphic climax in Bufo terrestris, oxygen consumption during climax was measured. Wet mass, dry mass, and lipid mass for a group of individuals at the initiation of climax (forelimb emergence, FL) and for another group at the end of climax (complete tail resorption, TR) were also measured to determine whether lipids were used to fuel metamorphic climax. The total amount of energy used, maintenance costs, and development costs during metamorphic climax varied considerably among individuals. Variation in energy metabolism during climax was not related to differences in energy metabolism during larval development or body mass at initiation of climax. TR individuals were significantly lighter in terms of wet mass and had less body water than FL individuals. However, the two groups did not differ in dry mass or lipid mass. Therefore, lipid catabolism is not a major source of energy during metamorphic climax in B. terrestris. As a result, decreases in age at metamorphosis may not be constrained by the need to store energy in the form of lipids.

Keywords

Energy allocation Lipids Metamorphosis Physiological constraints 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Bill Hopkins for his help in maintaining tadpoles and measuring metabolic rates on some individuals, Roy Nagle for keeping the Micro-Oxymax working properly, Roy Nagle and Ruth Estes for suggestions on lipid extractions, Chris Rowe for assistance in collecting animals, and Robert Beck for carrying out the numerical integrations. Bill Hopkins, Roy Nagle, and two anonymous reviewers provided many helpful suggestions on the manuscript. Animals for the experiment were collected under South Carolina scientific collecting permit number G-97-07. Experimental procedures were approved by the University of Georgia Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC No. A950154). This research was supported by a University-wide Research Assistantship from the University of Georgia to C.W. Beck and by the Environmental Remediation Sciences Division of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research, U.S. Department of Energy through the Financial Assistant Award no. DE-FC09-96SR18546 to the University of Georgia Research Foundation.

References

  1. Burggren WW, Just JJ (1992) Developmental changes in physiological systems. In: Feder ME, Burggren WW (eds) Environmental physiology of the amphibians. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 467–530Google Scholar
  2. Crump ML (1981) Energy accumulation and amphibian metamorphosis. Oecologia 49:167–169Google Scholar
  3. Dodd MHI, Dodd JM (1976) The biology of metamorphosis. In: Lofts B (ed) Physiology of Amphibia, vol 3. Academic Press, New York, pp 467–599Google Scholar
  4. Duellman WE, Trueb L (1986) Biology of amphibians. The Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  5. Feder ME (1982) Effect of developmental stage and body size on oxygen consumption of anuran larvae: a reappraisal. J Exp Zool 220:33–42Google Scholar
  6. Funkhouser A, Foster SA (1970) Oxygen uptake and thyroid activity in Hyla regilla tadpoles. Herpetologica 26:366–371Google Scholar
  7. Funkhouser A, Mills KS (1969) Oxygen consumption during spontaneous amphibian metamorphosis. Physiol Zool 42:15–21Google Scholar
  8. Gatten RE Jr, Miller K, Full RJ (1992) Energetics at rest and during locomotion. In: Feder ME, Burggren WW (eds) Environmental physiology of the amphibians. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 314–377Google Scholar
  9. Hamburger K, Lindegaard C, Dall PC (1996) The role of glycogen during the ontogenesis of Chironomus anthracinus (Chironomidae, Diptera). Hydrobiologia 318:51–59Google Scholar
  10. Hastings D, Burggren W (1995) Developmental changes in oxygen consumption regulation in larvae of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. J Exp Biol 198:2465–2475PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hensley FR (1995) Energetics and amphibian metamorphosis. PhD dissertation. Univeristy of Florida, GainesvilleGoogle Scholar
  12. Hourdry J, L'Hermite A, Ferrand R (1996) Changes in the digestive tract and feeding behavior of anuran amphibians during metamorphosis. Physiol Zool 69:219–251Google Scholar
  13. Kistler A, Miyauchi H, Frieden E (1980) Changes in amino acid metabolism and protein synthesis during spontaneous metamorphosis in the bullfrog tadpole liver. Int J Biochem 12:395–400CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Limbaugh BA, Volpe EP (1957) Early development of the Gulf Coast toad, Bufo valliceps Wiegmann. Am Mus Novitates 1842:1–32Google Scholar
  15. Packard GC, Boardman TJ (1988) The misuse of ratios, indices, and percentages in ecophysiological research. Physiol Zool 61:1-9Google Scholar
  16. Padrón D, Lindley VA, Pfeiler E (1996) Changes in lipid composition during metamorphosis of bonefish (Albula sp.) Leptocephali. Lipids 31:513–519PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Pandian TJ, Marian MP (1985) Time and energy costs of metamorphosis in the Indian bullfrog Rana tigrina. Copeia 1985:653–662Google Scholar
  18. Rodriguez JL, Sedano FJ, García-Martín LO, Pérez-Camacho A, Sánchez JL (1990) Energy metabolism of newly settled Ostrea edulis spat during metamorphosis. Mar Biol 106:109–111Google Scholar
  19. Rowe CR, Kinney OM, Nagle RD, Congdon JD (1998) Elevated maintenance costs in an anuran (Rana catesbeiana) exposed to a mixture of trace elements during the embryonic and early larval periods. Physiol Zool 71:27–35PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Sawant VA, Varute AT (1973) Lipid changes in the tadpoles of Rana tigrina during growth and metamorphosis. Comp Biochem Physiol 44B:729–750Google Scholar
  21. Schmidt-Nielsen K (1990) Animal physiology: adaptation and environment, 4th edn. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Sheridan MA, Kao Y (1998) Regulation of metamorphosis-associated changes in the lipid metabolism of selected vertebrates. Am Zool 38:350–368Google Scholar
  23. Sivula JC, Mix MC, McKenzie DS (1972) Oxygen consumption of Bufo boreas tadpoles during various developmental stages of metamorphosis. Herpetologica 28:309–313Google Scholar
  24. Urbani E (1962) Comparative biochemical studies on amphibian and invertebrate development. In: Abercrombie M, Brachet J (eds) Advances in morphogenesis, vol 2. Academic Press, New York, pp 61–108Google Scholar
  25. Werner EE (1988) Size, scaling, and the evolution of complex life cycles. In: Ebenman B, Persson L (eds) Size-structured populations: ecology and evolution. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, pp60–81Google Scholar
  26. Wilbur HM (1980) Complex life cycles. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 11:67–93Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Savannah River Ecology LaboratoryAikenUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations