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Intraspecific competition in tadpoles of Rana arvalis: does it matter in nature? A field experiment

Publiceringsår: 2001
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 253-263
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Population Ecology
Volym: 43
Nummer: 3
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Springer


Tadpole growth and development are easily affected by intraspecific competition in tank experiments, provided treatment density is sufficiently high. Is this a phenomenon also observed in nature? A pond was divided into four tadpole-proof sections. Each year for 8 years, all spawn laid by moorfrogs (Rana arvalis) in this pond was relocated to create relative spawn and tadpole densities of 1:4:1:4. No direct effect of the density manipulation on survival, tadpole size, and development and metamorph timing and size could be demonstrated. However, I also measured actual tadpole density during the time of development. Apart from the experimental density manipulation, this measure included effects of between-year variation in amount of spawn, natural tadpole mortality, and pond drying (which concentrated the tadpoles by decreasing the area of the pond sections). Actual density had limited but significant effects on tadpole size and development. I suggest that density regulation, acting on the tadpole stage, may be present in the population but was of less short-term importance than abiotic factors and, possibly, adult density regulation. Consequences of the findings for conservation are discussed.


  • Biological Sciences


  • ISSN: 1438-390X

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