The choice of oviposition site and the effects of density and oviposition timing on survivorship in Rana japonica

Noe Matsushima, Masakado Kawata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In species that lack parental care and whose larvae are restricted to a given space throughout development, choice of egg-laying or reproductive sites often greatly influences fitness. Furthermore, reproductive success of individuals may be affected not only by conditions of the breeding area but also by the time when they start to breed, because intraspecific variation in the timing of breeding may result in asymmetric competition between larvae. We addressed these issues in an experimental and field study of the Japanese brown frog, Rana japonica. We tested whether the survival success of larvae decreased with an increase in the number of deposited egg masses and with a greater delay in oviposition. We found that the number of egg masses and timing of oviposition together significantly predicted larval survival per clutch. Moreover, we observed the natural oviposition of R. japonica to examine the prediction that if the density of larvae and the timing of oviposition affect survivorship of larvae, R. japonica will avoid depositing eggs in pools in which egg masses have already been deposited. We found that for small pools only, R. japonica tended to favor oviposition at unoccupied pools (those lacking egg masses and larvae) in the spawning season. For large pools, however, adults favored those already occupied by egg masses in the spawning period. The density of egg masses and tadpoles or the timing of oviposition may have less effect on spawning or the survival of tadpoles in large pools than in small pools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalEcological Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan 1


  • Intraspecific competition
  • Oviposition site choice
  • Oviposition timing
  • Rana japonica
  • Temporal habitat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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