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Effects of water vapor density on cutaneous resistance to evaporative water loss and body temperature in green tree frogs (Hyla cinerea).

Authors
  • Wygoda, Mark L
  • Kersten, Constance A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Publisher
The University of Chicago Press
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
Volume
86
Issue
5
Pages
559–566
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1086/673115
PMID: 23995486
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Increased cutaneous resistance to evaporative water loss (Rc) in tree frogs results in decreased water loss rate and increased body temperature. We examined sensitivity of Rc to water vapor density (WVD) in Hyla cinerea by exposing individual frogs and agar models to four different WVD environments and measuring cutaneous evaporative water loss rate and body temperature simultaneously using a gravimetric wind tunnel measuring system. We found that water loss rate varied inversely and body temperature directly with WVD but that models were affected to a greater extent than were animals. Mean Rc was significantly different between the highest WVD environment and each of the three drier environments but did not differ among the drier environments, indicating that Rc initially increases and then reaches a plateau in response to decreasing WVD. Rc was equivalent when calculated using either WVD difference or WVD deficit as the driving force for evaporation. We also directly observed secretions from cutaneous glands while measuring body temperature and tested secretions and skin samples for the presence of lipids. We found that irregular transient body temperature depressions observed during wind tunnel trials occur due to evaporative cooling from intermittent skin secretions containing lipids, although we were unable to identify lipid-secreting glands.

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