Breeding activity of the agile frog Rana dalmatina in a rural area

Biaggini, M.  Campetti, I.  Corti, C. 

Abstract

Rural landscapes can host many protected species that are constantly threatened by agriculture intensification and abandonment of traditional managements. Amphibians are severely affected by both processes due to loss and alteration of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. We monitored the breeding activity of Rana dalmatina in a lowland rural area focusing on spawning sites in open habitats, namely ditches amid traditional arable lands and pastures with varying vegetation features, size, and distances from woodlots. Egg clump density and clump size differed between sites, probably depending on environmental and ecological factors (i.e., larval competition, food availability, and predation). The sites next to woodlots showed the highest clump density (up to 0.718 n/m2). Our observations indicate that the maintenance and correct management of water bodies connected to traditional rural activities can be key to amphibian conservation in agricultural areas.

Key words

Agriculture, Amphibians, Breeding sites, Conservation, Rana dalmatina

Reception date: 30 XI 17 | Acceptation date: 26 II 18 | Publication date: 06 VIII 18

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