Age-related parameters in a Pelobates fuscus (Anura: Pelobatidae) population from NW Romania over a decade

TitleAge-related parameters in a Pelobates fuscus (Anura: Pelobatidae) population from NW Romania over a decade
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsTopliceanu STheodor, Stănescu F, Székely D, Székely P, Cogălniceanu D
Conference NameInternational Zoological Congress of "Grigore Antipa" Museum, 19-22 November 2014, Bucharest, Romania
Date Published11/2014
Keywordsage distribution, common spadefoot, lifespan, skeletochronology

We used skeletochronology to investigate age-related parameters in a Pelobates fuscus population from northwestern Romania (Cluj County) that reproduces in a permanent pond. The population was sampled at four different moments: 2004 and 2012-2014. The quality of the aquatic and surrounding terrestrial habitats decreased constantly during the study due to urban development. The measurements and biological samples were collected in the spring, during reproduction, as part of a mark-recapture study. We estimated and compared the following parameters: median lifespan, age at sexual maturity, longevity and potential reproductive lifespan. Since in the sample collected in 2004 the sex of the individuals was not noted, we did not consider sex in our analyses.

We estimated age in 152 adult individuals. No significant differences in agerelated parameters over time were found. Age distribution was similar in all four years (Kruskal-Wallis χ = 4.25, P > 0.05), with 3 and 4 years age classes being the most abundant in all samples (63% and 47% respecively). The median lifespan of the population was 3 years, with a longevity of 6 years. The age of sexual maturity was attained at 2 - 3 years. The reproductive lifespan was 4 years. Our results suggest that the studied population did not react to the severe human impact affecting its habitat during the study period, indicating a slow response. This could explain the severe decline of the species over it’s entire range.

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