Temporal overlap, competition, and priority effects in larval anurans

S. P. Lawler, P. J. Morin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Introductions of Hyla (=Pseudacris) crucifer and Bufo woodhousii tadpoles at different times produced small differences in growth rates and larval periods when each anuran species occurred alone. In ponds containing both species, differences in the order and temporal separation of introductions had complex effects on the intensity of interspecific competition. When Bufo preceded Hyla, Hyla had prolonged larval periods and reduced mass and growth. When Hyla preceded Bufo, it was unaffected by Bufo. Hyla had no effects on Bufo, whether its introduction preceded or followed the introduction of Bufo. Early arrival increased the competitive impact of Bufo on Hyla, but failed to generate a competitive effect of Hyla on Bufo. Bufo tadpoles are more active than Hyla, and so may consume resources at higher rates that cannot be offset by a temporal advantage. Competition from Bufo was strongest when Hyla arrived 7 d later, suggesting that Hyla arriving 14 d after Bufo benefited from a longer period of reduced competition after Bufo metamorphosed from the ponds. The natural pattern, where Hyla breeds before or simultaneously with Bufo, permits Hyla to minimize competition from Bufo, while Bufo suffers no measurable cost from the size advantage obtained by competitively weaker Hyla tadpoles, Bufo may be prevented from breeding any earlier in the season by physiological constraints acting on eggs or breeding adults. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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