Effect of soil disturbance by agricultural activities on the life history traits of monkey frog (Pithecopus azureus)

  • Valeria I. GómezEmail author
  • Arturo I. Kehr


We assessed whether soil disturbance by agricultural activity influences the growth, development, and survival of individuals in the larval, metamorphic, and postmetamorphic stages of amphibians. Tadpoles of Pithecopus azureus (Cope, 1862) were reared in microcosms assembled with soil from two sites, a pristine site and a rice field. For 5 weeks, we recorded tadpole growth and development as well as physicochemical variable of the water: temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and pH. The results show that rice field soil produced a level of acidification in the water that influenced the growth and development rates of tadpoles. Tadpoles reared in rice soil had a significantly lower growth rate and body length, and during a specified period, the development rate of the tadpole was significantly lower than that of tadpoles in pristine soil. Overall, tadpoles in rice soil took 3 days longer to reach metamorphosis and 1 additional day to complete metamorphosis compared with tadpoles exposed to pristine soil. Our study shows that disturbed soils modify the physicochemical conditions of temporary ponds, impacting on the initial life stage of the anurans.


Monkey frog Phytecopus azureus Tadpoles Development Growth Rice field 


Funding information

Financial support was provided by Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica. FONCYT (Grant PICT 2016–1991).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral (CECOAL)Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET-UNNE)AMD CorrientesArgentina

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