05_11_2015, Germán Orizaola, Amphibians and breeding phenology, a life history perspective
Amphibians and breeding phenology: a life history perspective Germán Orizaola Animal Ecology, Dept. Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Sweden. Time is often a critical ecological constraint determining whether animals survive and successfully reproduce. Organisms have evolved to synchronise the timing of key seasonal events (i.e. reproduction, migration, hibernation) with the environmental conditions that maximize their fitness. Seasonal environments are characterised by short time-windows with optimal conditions to breed and grow. However, the timing and length of these conditions are variable among seasons, and many organisms have recently experienced abrupt changes in their phenology ascribed to climate change. The capacity of organisms to track alterations in seasonality and adjust their life-history strategies to the changing environment is thus crucial for adapting to the current scenario of high climatic variability. In my research, I focus on the processes and mechanisms that allow organisms to cope with phenological variation, using amphibians as study models. In this seminar, I will talk about the plasticity of life-history strategies in larval amphibians in response to changes in breeding phenology, the interaction between life-history responses to breeding phenology and predation risk, as well as on the costs and potential activation mechanisms of alternative life-history strategies in amphibians.