Their work published in the journal PNAS has improved that in a habitat modified by human beings, toads experience a accelerated aging and have a lower survival rate into adulthood than when they evolve in an environment preserved from human hands. However, scientists have made a discovery they did not expect: in human-modified habitats, the excess mortality adult toads is compensated by one increase in reproduction.
“This mechanism, called ‘compensatory recruitment’, ensures the long-term viability of populations on average. One of the hypotheses put forward to explain this phenomenon is the reduced risk of predation on tadpoles induced by human disturbances”explain the researchers.
This method is necessary for these amphibian populations to persist even in heavily modified landscapes.
“Our results indicating that compensatory recruitment allows toad populations to stay viable in human-dominated habitats and could facilitate the persistence of other animal populations in these environmentsencourage scientists.