Year

2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences

Abstract

Conservation breeding programs (CBPs) are considered essential for the recovery of threatened species. However, due in part to poor nutritional conditions experienced by individuals in captivity, CBPs often report poor success. In response, there has been a push to investigate how supplementation of captive diets with micronutrients may improve the success of CBPs. Dietary carotenoids in particular, are one group of micronutrients expected to improve the viability of captive individuals. This is largely owing to their antioxidant capacity, which allows them to limit the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the effectiveness of dietary carotenoids in improving fitness-determining traits remains strongly debated. One reason for this may be that previous studies have generally failed to consider the importance of the carotenoid class and/or dose administered, and how effects of dietary carotenoids vary depending on either life-stage, or physiological context. As such, the general aim of this thesis was to investigate the effect of dietary carotenoids on the growth, development, and exercise performance of the critically endangered southern corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree).

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.