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Threat of predation negates density effects in larval gray treefrogs

Resetarits, William J., Rieger, Josef F. and Binckley, Christopher A. (2004) Threat of predation negates density effects in larval gray treefrogs Oecologia, 138, (4), pp. 532-538. (doi:10.1007/s00442-003-1466-2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

While density-dependence is central to most theory regarding population regulation and community structure, specific mechanisms that modify its effects in the absence of changes in consumer-resources ratios (e.g., thinning) are not well understood. To determine if the threat of predation alters effects of density, we investigated the interaction between density of larval treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) and the non-lethal presence of a predatory fish (Enneacanthus obesus). A significant density by fish interaction was consistent for all response variables (e.g., larval survivorship, mass, and time to metamorphosis) driven by a complete lack of density effects in the presence of predators, while predator-free tanks showed classic density-dependent responses. Given that female H. chrysoscelis strongly avoid ovipositing in ponds containing fish, certain larval adaptations are apparently not constrained by maternal behavior and suggest redundancy in response to predators. Our data suggest that non-lethal effects of predators can determine larval performance irrespective of larval density, and that the non-lethal effects of predators can be strong whether lethal effects are strong or weak.

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More information

Published date: March 2004
Keywords: competition, density-dependence, non-lethal effects, predator induction, predator-prey interactions

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 56752
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/56752
ISSN: 0029-8549
PURE UUID: e954ab0c-db66-4415-8970-1ed15773836e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:30

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Contributors

Author: William J. Resetarits
Author: Josef F. Rieger
Author: Christopher A. Binckley

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