Fecha de Publicación: 2 May 2018
Cita: Diego A. GÓMEZ-HOYOS, Sergio ESCOBAR-LASSO, Rocío SEISDEDOS-DE-VERGARA, Juan G. ABARCA, Jan SCHIPPER, Steven M. WHITFIELD, Gilbert ALVARADO, & José F. GONZÁLEZ-MAYA. 2018. Phytotelmata selection by anurans and implications for their conservation at Las Tablas Protected Zone, Costa Rica. Alytes, 35(1–4): 1–11.

Phytotelmata selection by anurans and implications for their conservation at Las Tablas Protected Zone, Costa Rica

This can be a preliminary measure for the effective implementation of the current law in Costa Rica (forest law nº 7575), which considers river banks as protection zones.

Diego A. GÓMEZ-HOYOS 1, 2, 
Juan G. ABARCA 4
Gilbert ALVARADO 7, 8
1ProCAT Internacional / Sierra to Sea Institute Costa Rica, Las Alturas, Coto Brus, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
2Grupo de Estudio en Herpetología de la Universidad del Quindío (GHUQ), Armenia, Quindío, Colombia.
3Fundación RANA (Restauración de Ambientes Neotropicales Alterados), Colombia.
4Centro de Investigación en Estructuras Microscópicas (CIEMIC), Universidad de Costa Rica, Ciudad de la Investigación, San José, Costa Rica.
5Arizona Center for Nature Conservation – Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
6Zoo Miami, Conservation and Research Department, Miami Florida, USA.
7Laboratory of Comparative Wildlife Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, University of São Paulo. São Paulo, Brasil.
8Escuela de Biología, Universidad de Costa Rica, Campus Rodrigo Facio, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, Costa Rica.

Phytotelmata are microhabitats used for shelter by many anuran species. Understanding anuran-microhabitat relationship is important for their conservation as it could notably affect host-pathogen interactions (i.e. chytrid fungus-amphibians), and could help us to understand their habitat disturbance responses. Herein, we studied spatial and temporal patterns of phytotelmata selection by anurans at Las Tablas Protected Zone, Costa Rica. Also, we assessed the relationship between phytotelmata use and selection with habitat perturbation and Bd fungus, as well as its implications for anuran conservation at the specific locality especially for the critically endangered Atelopus varius. We used the standardized Manly index to estimate proportion between use and availability of Araceae and Bromeliaceae in late-succes-sional forest and perturbed zones. We also evaluated the presence of the chytrid fungus by standard PCR techniques. We found a spatial and temporal pattern in phytotelmata use and selection that should be considered for anuran conservation at Las Tablas Protected Zone. Anurans in general, and Atelopus varius in particular, selected Araceae in the perturbed zone during the dry season. Although the chytrid fungus is present at the locality, we did not find evidence of inter or intraspecific transmission via phytotelmata. We recommend performing an extensive survey of Bd to reject potential transmission risk by phytotelmata use in LTPZ. Also, we highlight the potential importance of phytotelmata for anurans in perturbed zones at landscape level.

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