Stressed tadpoles mount more efficient glucocorticoid negative feedback in anthropogenic habitats due to phenotypic plasticity

Bókony, Veronika ✉ [Bókony, Veronika (viselkedésökológi...), author] Lendület Evolutionary Ecology Research Group (NÖVI); Ujhegyi, Nikolett [Ujhegyi, Nikolett (vadbiológia, konz...), author] Lendület Evolutionary Ecology Research Group (NÖVI); Hamow, Kamirán Á. [Hamow, Kamirán Áron (környezettudomány...), author] Plant Protection Institute; Bosch, Jaime; Thumsová, Barbora; Vörös, Judit [Vörös, Judit (Kétéltűek és hüll...), author] Hungarian Natural History Museum; Aspbury, Andrea S.; Gabor, Caitlin R.

English Article (Journal Article) Scientific
Published: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 0048-9697 1879-1026 753 Paper: 141896 , 11 p. 2021
  • X. Földtudományok Osztálya: A
  • SJR Scopus - Environmental Engineering: D1
  • Zoology
Coping with anthropogenic environmental change is among the greatest challenges faced by wildlife, and endocrine flexibility is a potentially crucial coping mechanism. Animals may adapt to anthropogenic environments by dampening their glucocorticoid stress response, but empirical tests of this hypothesis have provided mixed evidence. An alternative hypothesis is that a non-attenuated stress response and efficient negative feedback are favored in anthropogenic habitats. To test this idea, we non-invasively sampled corticosterone release rates of common toad (Bufo bufo) tadpoles in agricultural, urban, and natural habitats, and quantified their stress response and negative feedback by a standardized stress-and-recovery protocol. We repeated the same sampling with tadpoles raised from eggs from the same ponds in a common-garden experiment to infer if the differences observed between populations in different habitats were due to individual phenotypic plasticity rather than microevolution or transgenerational effects. We found that, compared to tadpoles in natural ponds, urban tadpoles had higher baseline and stressed corticosterone release rates, and tadpoles in agricultural ponds had similar corticosterone release rates but greater stress-induced change, indicating stronger stress responses in both types of anthropogenic habitats. As predicted, tadpoles in both agricultural and urban ponds showed more efficient negative feedback than did tadpoles in natural ponds. Water pollution levels, as indicated by the concentrations of carbamazepine and corticoid-disrupting compounds in pond water, contributed to elevating the stress response regardless of land use. Infection by neither Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis nor Ranavirus was detected in free-living tadpoles. No habitat-related glucocorticoid differences persisted in the common-garden experiment. These results suggest that toad tadpoles in anthropogenic habitats increased their glucocorticoid flexibility via phenotypic plasticity. The coupling of stronger stress response and stronger negative feedback in these habitats supports the importance of rapidly "turning on and off" the stress response as a mechanism for coping with anthropogenic environmental change. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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2024-06-14 13:57