SREL Reprint #2129




Relationship of larval density and hoterozygosity to growth and survival of juvenile marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum)

Anne C. Chazal, John D. Krenz, and David E. Scott

Intraspecific competition and enzyme variability have been observed to influence the bioenergetics of many organisms. In amphibians, larval growth affects body size at metamorphosis, which in turn can lead to differences in adult survival and fecundity. We manipulated larval density in a population of the marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, and measured body size and enzyme variability in surviving newly metamorphosed juveniles. Crowded larval conditions resulted in lower survival and smaller body sizes at metamorphosis. Multilocus heterozygosity showed no relation to body size at high larval densities; however, at low larval densities relatively homozygous animals were larger. There was a significant interaction between heterozygosity and larval density in their effects on larval traits. Competition had a greater effect on body size at metamorphosis than did heterozygosity. Survival may be enhanced by heterozygosity but in a manner unrelated to body size.


SREL Reprint #2129

Chazal, A.C., J.D. Krenz, and D.E. Scott. 1996. Relationship of larval density and heterozygosity to growth and survival of juvenile marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum). Canadian Journal of Zoology 74:1122-1129.


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