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J Therm Biol 2024 Jun 13;123:103890. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2024.103890.
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Thermal tolerance for the tropical clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis with comments on comparative methods for amphibian studies.

Tuckett QM , Hill JE , Everett K , Goodman C , Wooley ES , Durland Donahou A , Lapham L , Buckman K , Johnson S , Romagosa C .

Thermal tolerance data are important for identifying the potential range of non-native species following introduction and establishment. Such data are particularly important for understanding invasion risks of tropical species introduced to temperate climates and identifying whether they can survive outside tropical regions. A breeding population of the tropical clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) was recently discovered in west-central Florida, U.S.A. This fully aquatic species is native to the rainforest belt of west Africa and has not been documented outside its native range. Because of the lack of invasion history, data are sparse on the thermal limits for this species. We used chronic lethal and critical thermal methodologies to investigate thermal tolerance on adult stages and critical thermal methods on tadpoles. Because of our use of both chronic and critical methodologies, we also examined the literature to reveal common methods used to investigate thermal minimum and maximum temperature in amphibians, which were found to be dominated by the critical maximum. Chronic lethal temperatures for adult X. tropicalis were 9.73 °C and 36.68 °C. Critical temperatures were affected by acclimation temperature and life stage; adults were more tolerant of extreme temperatures. Based on these critical thermal data and the fact that breeding tends to occur when temperatures are suitable for survival, tadpole stages are unlikely to be affected by extreme temperatures. Instead, range expansion in Florida will likely be limited by the adult stages. Our findings indicate that the tropical clawed frog could occupy much of southern Peninsular Florida and other tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

PubMed ID: 38879911
Article link: J Therm Biol