Effects of environmental factors on the ecology and survival of a widespread, endemic Cerrado frog

Bruno F. Fiorillo, Gabriel Paganini Faggioni, Felipe Osmari Cerezer, C. Guilherme Becker, Juan C. Díaz-Ricaurte, Marcio Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the mechanisms that affect habitat use by vertebrates is critical for understanding how species are distributed across landscapes and how they cope with habitat change. The Brazilian Savanna (the Cerrado) has vegetation ranging from grassland to woodland savannas and harbors a rich and diverse amphibian fauna impacted by accelerated habitat loss. Here, we test the influence of vegetation type (from grassy scrubland to woodland) and distance from breeding sites (ephemeral water bodies) on body size, abundance, and survival of the frog Physalaemus nattereri in a natural metapopulation system of south-central Brazil. We also test whether body size is a significant predictor of population abundance. We found that the abundance of P. nattereri varies according to the mean snout–vent length of each metapopulation (sampling unit), as well as a higher estimated mortality rate in woodlands compared with typical Cerrado. Furthermore, we found no difference in estimated mortality among sampling units located far or close to ephemeral water bodies. Thus, our results highlight variable responses of P. nattereri metapopulations to environmental factors, despite the observed high heterogeneity among sampled habitats and the importance of ephemeral water bodies for reproduction. These findings highlight that land cover and availability of breeding sites might not always interact to explain population persistence of Cerrado frogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-562
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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