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Corbalan V.,CONICET | Debandi G.,BIOTA Asociacion para la Conservacion de la Diversidad Biologica Argentina
Herpetological Journal | Year: 2014

Lizard assemblages may experience resource partitioning in the spatial, trophic or temporal dimensions of their niche. Niche segregation does not always imply competition, and the role of interspecific competition is better understood when the response of species to the presence or absence of other species is evaluated. The aim of this study is to determine daily activity patterns and food consumption in two phylogenetically related species (Phymaturus roigorum and P. payuniae). These saxicolous and herbivorous species live in sympatry in the volcanic region of Payunia, in central-west Argentina. One of these species can also be found in allopatry, allowing comparative studies on their lifestyle. We evaluated the temporal daily patterns of both species and their diet overlap. Although competition is not evident between the species studied here, it is shown that selectivity towards different plant species and the time schedule of foraging are the primary mechanisms that promote the coexistence of these lizards. Daily basking activity, however, was similar in both species. © 2014, British Herpetological Society. All rights reserved. Source


Corbalan V.,CONICET | Debandi G.,BIOTA Asociacion para la Conservacion de la Diversidad Biologica Argentina | Kubisch E.,CONICET
Journal of Thermal Biology | Year: 2013

We evaluated the thermal biology of two sympatric saxicolous species of the genus Phymaturus, endemic from the Argentine Payunia region. Taking into account that the distributional range of Phymaturus roigorum (the largest species) is greater than the range of P. payuniae, we evaluated the habitat (type of rocks) used by these species. We recorded body temperature and operative temperatures in different habitats, and we determined the preferred body temperature in the laboratory. We compared the thermal quality of habitats occupied and not occupied by Phymaturus payuniae, and the accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation between species.P. roigorum was found on many different kinds of rocks, but P. payuniae was found mainly on two types or rocks and not found on dark basalts. No differences were found in habitat thermal quality or in preferred temperatures when comparing among populations or between species. Although both species are thermoregulators, P. payuniae demonstrated better accuracy and effectiveness. This is the first study to assess thermal biology in coexisting species of the genus Phymaturus and provides the first data on effectiveness of thermoregulation for the genus. The results obtained have importance from a conservation perspective, since both endemic species are vulnerable and no data on habitat or thermal requirements were available up till now. © 2013. Source


Debandi G.,BIOTA Asociacion para la Conservacion de la Diversidad Biologica Argentina | Corbalan V.,CONICET | Martinez F.,BIOTA Asociacion para la Conservacion de la Diversidad Biologica Argentina | Ubeda C.,National University of Comahue
Amphibia Reptilia | Year: 2014

Overwintering is an anuran strategy to survive in cold-temperate climates. Those aquatic species that withstand harsh conditions and short growing seasons are candidates for having long larval periods. Prolonged larval development, which includes overwintering for more than two years, has been reported for North-American and Euro-Asiatic species, but this strategy has been poorly studied in the Southern Hemisphere. Alsodes pehuenche is an endemic frog from the high Andes mountains of Argentina and Chile, recently categorized as Endangered by the Asociación Herpetológica Argentina (AHA) and as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We studied egg laying in this species and its larval development by marking tadpoles with elastomers. We found that eggs are laid in clumps at the beginning of summer. The larval cycle includes four winters, although a fifth winter should not be ruled out. This is the first study that demonstrates a long larval development (four winters) in South-American species and has important implications for conservation biology. © Copyright 2014 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Source

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