Variation in chemical defense among natural populations of common toad, Bufo bufo, tadpoles: the role of environmental factors

Bokony, Veronika, Moricz, Agnes M., Toth, Zsofia, Gal, Zoltan, Kurali, Aniko, Miko, Zsanett, Pasztor, Katalin, Szederkenyi, Mark, Toth, Zoltan, Ujszegi, Janos, Uveges, Balint, Kruzselyi, Daniel, Capon, Robert J., Hoi, Herbert and Hettyey, Attila (2016) Variation in chemical defense among natural populations of common toad, Bufo bufo, tadpoles: the role of environmental factors. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 42 4: 329-338. doi:10.1007/s10886-016-0690-2


Author Bokony, Veronika
Moricz, Agnes M.
Toth, Zsofia
Gal, Zoltan
Kurali, Aniko
Miko, Zsanett
Pasztor, Katalin
Szederkenyi, Mark
Toth, Zoltan
Ujszegi, Janos
Uveges, Balint
Kruzselyi, Daniel
Capon, Robert J.
Hoi, Herbert
Hettyey, Attila
Title Variation in chemical defense among natural populations of common toad, Bufo bufo, tadpoles: the role of environmental factors
Formatted title
Variation in chemical defense among natural populations of common toad, Bufo bufo, tadpoles: the role of environmental factors
Journal name Journal of Chemical Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-1561
0098-0331
Publication date 2016-04-08
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10886-016-0690-2
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 42
Issue 4
Start page 329
End page 338
Total pages 10
Place of publication New York, NY United States
Publisher Springer New York
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
1303 Biochemistry
Abstract Defensive toxins are widespread in nature, yet we know little about how various environmental factors shape the evolution of chemical defense, especially in vertebrates. In this study we investigated the natural variation in the amount and composition of bufadienolide toxins, and the relative importance of ecological factors in predicting that variation, in larvae of the common toad, Bufo bufo, an amphibian that produces toxins de novo. We found that tadpoles' toxin content varied markedly among populations, and the number of compounds per tadpole also differed between two geographical regions. The most consistent predictor of toxicity was the strength of competition, indicating that tadpoles produced more compounds and larger amounts of toxins when coexisting with more competitors. Additionally, tadpoles tended to contain larger concentrations of bufadienolides in ponds that were less prone to desiccation, suggesting that the costs of toxin production can only be afforded by tadpoles that do not need to drastically speed up their development. Interestingly, this trade-off was not alleviated by higher food abundance, as periphyton biomass had negligible effect on chemical defense. Even more surprisingly, we found no evidence that higher predation risk enhances chemical defenses, suggesting that low predictability of predation risk and high mortality cost of low toxicity might select for constitutive expression of chemical defense irrespective of the actual level of predation risk. Our findings highlight that the variation in chemical defense may be influenced by environmental heterogeneity in both the need for, and constraints on, toxicity as predicted by optimal defense theory.
Keyword Amphibian toxins
Bufadienolides
Geographical variation
Aquatic community
Pond permanence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID LP2012-24/2012
PCIG13-GA-2013-631722
SPA 04/171
SZ-029/2013
PD108938
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 10 May 2016, 10:47:02 EST by System User on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience