The ecology of the desert dwelling salamander <i>Ambystoma tigrinum</i>

TitleThe ecology of the desert dwelling salamander Ambystoma tigrinum
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1974
AuthorsDelson JHale
Number of Pages68
Date Published1974
UniversityNew Mexico State University
CityLas Cruces, New Mexico
Thesis TypePh.D. Dissertationpp
Call Number00046
KeywordsAmbystoma, life history, amphibian, Ambystoma, amphibian,tiger salamander,Ambystoma, dissertation, dissertations, theses, thesis
AbstractThe tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, inhabits temporary desert ponds in southern New Mexico. The ponds, called playas and cattle tanks hold accumulated rain water runoff from intense summer storms for irregular intervals from months to years. The primary productivity of these ponds ecosystems is low, and the major energy source is allochthonous organic material used for heterotrophic productivity. The tiger salamander forms the highest trophic level in the pond ecosystem. Domination of the invertebrate community shifts from phyllopods immediately following pond flooding to aquatic insects in ponds lasting several months or more....A comparison of the habitat utilization of deserticolous anurans and urodeles is presented and the advantages of inhabiting temporary desert ponds is discussed. Neoteny, cannibalism, and differential transformation rates prepare aquatic tiger salamanders for the subterranean habitat.