Acoustic niche partitioning in five Cuban frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus: Supplementary material
journal contributionposted on 05.07.2018 by Irelis Bignotte-Giró, Ansel Fong G., Germán M. López-Iborra
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Acoustic segregation is a way to reduce competition and allows for species coexistence within anuran communities. Thus, separation in at least one acoustic niche dimension is expected, which also contributes to achieving effective communication among frogs. Here we studied an assemblage of five terrestrial egg-laying anuran species, all in the genus Eleutherodactylus, in a montane rainforest in eastern Cuba. Our aim was to determine if partitioning exists between these species in any dimension (time, signal frequency or space) of the acoustic niche. The studied assemblage had the following characteristics: (1) there was one diurnal species, two species with calling activity throughout the day and two species that call at night; (2) only two species overlapped in call frequencies and most had different calls, both in terms of dominant frequencies and in temporal characteristics; and (3) males of the species that overlapped in vocalizing time or signal frequency used different calling microhabitats or heights. This study provides evidence for the acoustic niche hypothesis in anurans, showing low probabilities of interference in sound communication among these frogs. The five species were separated in at least one of the three acoustic dimensions (calling time, frequency and site) as it occurs in mainland communities with more sympatric species of several genera. Conversely, species in single-genus communities studied in Puerto Rico overlapped completely in calling times. This seems to be due to the higher number of sympatric species at our site.