Bromeliad Selection of Phyllodytes Luteolus (Anura, Hylidae): The Influence of Plant Structure and Water Quality Factors
Journal of Herpetology
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Bromeliads are used by many frog species because of their capacity to accumulate rainwater. The bromeligenous frog, Phyllodytes luteolus (Yellow Heart-Tongued Frog), uses bromeliads for its entire life cycle including shelter, foraging, and reproduction. We evaluated the effect of plant morphometrics and the properties of water accumulated in bromeliads on the selection of these plants by P. luteolus. We sampled 103 bromeliads of which 41 were unoccupied and 62 were occupied by P. luteolus. Results suggest that bromeliad occupation by P. luteolus is nonrandom. We found that occupied plants were shorter in height, had a greater number of leaves, and had lower water conductivity than did unoccupied plants. Males were more likely to occupy plants with more leaves than were females. Plant selection may be related to the reproductive success of P. luteolus because frogs using plants with more leaves and lower conductivity may experience reductions in competition for space, predator encounters, and desiccation. Considering that illegal bromeliad harvesting threatens many bromeligenous frogs, improved understanding of bromeliad selection may determine which bromeliad species should be targeted for conservation to ensure the population viability of frogs.
Mageski, M.M., R.B. Ferreira, K.H. Beard, L.C. Costa, P.R. Jesus, C.C. Medeiros, and P.D. Ferreira. 2016. Bromeliad selection of Phyllodytes luteolus (Anura, Hylidae): the influence of plant structure and water quality factors. Journal of Herpetology. 50(1):108-112. DOI: 10.1670/14-166