Data from Osmotic ‘cost’ of reproduction in breeding male toads

2019-11-01T06:36:15Z (GMT) by François Brischoux Marion Cheron
Shifts between habitats during reproduction can induce costs that are independent of the reproductive effort and that often apply to both sexes. Such shifts can also illustrate physiological costs complementary to those involving energetic currencies. In this study, we investigated osmotic consequences of reproduction in a context where reproduction induces a shift from terrestrial habitats to freshwater environments. During reproduction, toads migrate to breeding ponds where males remain for several weeks, while females leave shortly after egg-laying. We assessed plasma osmolality of male spined toads during the whole reproductive period (approx. 30 days) in conjunction with markers of individual condition. We found that osmolality decreases during the protracted period of immersion in freshwater during reproduction, presumably through water influx as indicated by body mass changes. Hormonal markers of metabolism and sexual activity were positively correlated with osmolality. Recent research has highlighted hydric ‘costs’ of reproduction when access to water is limited. Our study adds to this growing field of investigation, yet with an opposite perspective, where water availability linked to reproduction provokes hyperhydration rather than dehydration.