Aposematic bright colors have a key role for animal defense and can be expressed through metabolic production or by acquiring pigments from diet. Aposematic coloration can be related to both local adaptations and availability of trophic resources. The European fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) shows significant color variability and occurs across a broad range of habitats. Here we combined field observations with common rearing experiments to disentangle the role of environmental conditions and local adaptations in determining aposematic coloration of salamander populations. We assessed color variation and measured habitat features and food availability in adults from 25 populations. Furthermore, we reared newborn larvae from 10 populations under different food availability and analyzed color of metamorphs. To assess color pattern, we measured the percentage of yellow covering the body, and the Hue, Saturation and Value of yellow coloration. Adult showed strong variation of color pattern; variation was strongly related to the individual's size, to habitat productivity and to food availability. Under common garden conditions, differences between populations were not anymore evident, and coloration was only affected by resource availability during larval development. Our results suggest that environmental conditions and food availability are more important than local adaptations in determining differences in aposematic color pattern.

Factors determining the dorsal coloration pattern of aposematic salamanders / B. Barzaghi, A. Melotto, P. Cogliati, R. Manenti, G.F. Ficetola. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 12:1(2022), pp. 17090.1-17090.12. [10.1038/s41598-022-19466-0]

Factors determining the dorsal coloration pattern of aposematic salamanders

B. Barzaghi
Primo
;
R. Manenti;G.F. Ficetola
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Aposematic bright colors have a key role for animal defense and can be expressed through metabolic production or by acquiring pigments from diet. Aposematic coloration can be related to both local adaptations and availability of trophic resources. The European fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) shows significant color variability and occurs across a broad range of habitats. Here we combined field observations with common rearing experiments to disentangle the role of environmental conditions and local adaptations in determining aposematic coloration of salamander populations. We assessed color variation and measured habitat features and food availability in adults from 25 populations. Furthermore, we reared newborn larvae from 10 populations under different food availability and analyzed color of metamorphs. To assess color pattern, we measured the percentage of yellow covering the body, and the Hue, Saturation and Value of yellow coloration. Adult showed strong variation of color pattern; variation was strongly related to the individual's size, to habitat productivity and to food availability. Under common garden conditions, differences between populations were not anymore evident, and coloration was only affected by resource availability during larval development. Our results suggest that environmental conditions and food availability are more important than local adaptations in determining differences in aposematic color pattern.
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
12-ott-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/948982
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