Nonlethal injury caused by an invasive alien predator and its consequences for an anuran tadpole
2010 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, Vol. 11, no 7, 645-654 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Nonlethal tail injury resulting from unsuccessful predation attempts is common in anuran larvae and can potentially induce significant fitness costs in terms of survival and growth. We tested the hypotheses that the alien red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, is an important inducer of tail injury in tadpoles of the Iberian spadefoot toad, Pelobates cultripes, and that tail damage can have important consequences for the tadpoles' life history and morphology. This was investigated by first estimating frequencies of caudal injury in P. cult ripes tadpoles in temporary ponds, with and without crayfish. Secondly, we performed a laboratory experiment in which four levels of tail injury frequency were combined with two levels of food availability. The frequency of tadpoles with damaged tails was higher in ponds with crayfish and the presence of this predator was the strongest predictor of tail injury frequency in a pond. Induced tail loss decreased larval survivorship and affected tail morphology, with injured tadpoles developing deeper tail muscles and shallower tail fins. The magnitude of these effects depended on injury frequency, as well as on food availability. The results suggest that P. clarkii is inflicting tail injuries at much higher levels than those occurring before its introduction; these injuries affect tadpole morphology and may induce delayed fitness costs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 11, no 7, 645-654 p.
Unsuccessful predation, Alien crayfish, Tail injury, Tadpoles, Costs
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-148654DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2010.09.003ISI: 000286795300011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-148654DiVA: diva2:402684