Ecological relationships in a desert anuran community

TitleEcological relationships in a desert anuran community
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1976
AuthorsF. Creusere M, Whitford WG
Date Published1976
Call Number00039
Keywordsamphibian, breeding, amphibian,activity, amphibian,Bufo, amphibian,Scaphiopus, anuran community, article, articles, ecology,anuran community, journal, journals, Scaphiopus, activity

The surface activity and distribution patterns of five species of anurans inhabiting a watershed in the Chihuahuan Desert were studied from 1970-1974. Adult toads Bufo debilis, Bufo cognatus, Scaphiopus hammondi, Scaphiopus bombifrons and Scaphiopus couchi exhibited short periods of activity immediately following rain events. Juveniles of these species were active for as long as 55 days in the bottom of the ephemeral lake where vegetative cover and fissures in the clay-silt soil provided shelter and modified the microclimate due to reduced evaporation. Less than 1% of the juveniles of S. bombifrons, S. hammondi and B. debilis survived to adult size. The importance of spatial separation within the flooded playa during breeding and possible character displacment of breeding calls are documented and their importance in maintaining this desert anuran community is discussed.