Interactions between intraspecific competition and predation in an amphibian predator-prey system.

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The predatory salamander Notophthalmus viridescens indirectly facilitates growth and survival of herbivorous tadpoles of Hyla crucifer, when the latter are embedded in guilds of superior competitors. Tadpole survival when H. crucifer was the only tadpole species was independent of intraspecific density and negatively affected by predator density. In communities without predators, increased tadpole densities decreased growth rates, prolonged larval development, and reduced froglet mass at metamorphosis. Predation tended to increase metamorph mass slightly within a given level of initial tadpole density, but the impact of predators on tadpole survival was independent of density-dependent tadpole growth. Predators failed to reduce competition substantially among larval H. crucifer, because tadpoles altered their microhabitat use to avoid predators. Consequently, tadpole densities and competitive interactions were only slightly moderated by predators.-from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-720
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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