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Tuesday, April 24 • 10:15am - 10:35am
Predation Rates On Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) Polymorphic Egg Masses

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A polymorphism results when a gene has multiple alleles, and polymorphic species can have many different forms. Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander) lays polymorphic egg masses that appear either clear or white. This study examined the effects of egg mass morph on predation rates in the natural environment to determine possible advantages of the polymorphism. It was hypothesized that clear egg masses would be predated upon more heavily because white masses have a survivorship advantage under predation. This study examined the relationship between egg mass volume and embryo number for masses of both morphs, surveyed natural predators in the field, and used volume as an indicator of predations rates. Twelve different taxa were surveyed as possible predators in the field, with Ambystoma opacum being most prevalent. Change in egg mass volume was not significant for either morph, but white masses experienced a relatively smaller change in volume than clear masses. The lack of significant difference in the change in volume suggests that morph does not significantly influence predation rates. It is expected that some other fitness advantage maintains the white morph rather than greater survivorship under predation.

Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:15am - 10:35am PDT
014 Zeis Hall

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