Effects of density and kinship on growth and metamorphosis in tadpoles ofRana temporalis were studied in a 2×4 factorial experiment. Fifteen egg masses were collected from streams in the Western Ghat region of south India. The tadpoles were raised as siblings or in groups of non-siblings at increasing density levels, viz. 15, 30, 60 and 120/5 l water. With an increase in density level from 15 to 120 tadpoles/5 l water, duration of the larval stage increased and fewer individuals metamorphosed irrespective of whether they belonged to sibling or non-sibling groups by day 100 when the experiments were terminated. The size of individuals at metamorphosis declined significantly with increase in the density of rearing. However, at higher densities (60 and 120 tadpoles/5 l water) sibling group tadpoles performed better compared to mixed groups and took significantly less time to metamorphose. Also, more individuals of sibling groups metamorphosed compared to non-sibling groups at a given density. Mixed rearing retarded growth rates, prolonged larval duration resulting in a wider spectrum of size classes, and lowered the number of individuals recruited to terrestrial life. The study shows that interference competition occurred more strongly in cohorts of mixed relatedness than in sibling groups.
Volume 46, 2021
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