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Keywords:

  • competition;
  • counter gradient selection;
  • development;
  • growth rate;
  • tadpoles;
  • Rana

Abstract

Time for metamorphosis and metamorph size of moor frogs Rana arvalis and common frogs R. temporaria were measured in 22 ponds for 1–8 years. Environmental data in these ponds were also measured. Metamorphosis of the frogs took place from the beginning of June to the beginning of August. When both species were found in one pond, the common frogs metamorphosed up to 20 days earlier than the moor frogs. Most variation in time for metamorphosis, among ponds and years, is explained by temperature effects, but a causal relationship was not established. Within a pond, metamorphosis was later in cold summers than in warm summers. Size at metamorphosis was affected by tadpole density; at high densities metamorphs were smaller. Size at metamorphosis was not related to time for metamorphosis. There was an effect of pond drying; if ponds were about to dry up, metamorphosis was accelerated by about 2.4 days. Tadpoles from ponds with a late metamorphosis in the field had tadpoles that metamorphosed early in a common garden experiment, suggesting counter gradient selection.