Trophic Strategies of a Non-Native and a Native Amphibian Species in Shared Ponds
2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 6, UNSP e0130549Article in journal (Refereed) Published
One of the critical factors for understanding the establishment, success and potential impact on native species of an introduced species is a thorough knowledge of how these species manage trophic resources. Two main trophic strategies for resource acquisition have been described: competition and opportunism. In the present study our objective was to identify the main trophic strategies of the non-native amphibian Discoglossus pictus and its potential trophic impact on the native amphibian Bufo calamita. We determine whether D. pictus exploits similar trophic resources to those exploited by the native B. calamita (competition hypothesis) or alternative resources (opportunistic hypothesis). To this end, we analyzed the stable isotope values of nitrogen and carbon in larvae of both species, in natural ponds and in controlled laboratory conditions. The similarity of the delta N-15 and delta C-13 values in the two species coupled with isotopic signal variation according to pond conditions and niche partitioning when they co-occurred indicated dietary competition. Additionally, the non-native species was located at higher levels of trophic niches than the native species and B. calamita suffered an increase in its standard ellipse area when it shared ponds with D. pictus. These results suggest niche displacement of B. calamita to non-preferred resources and greater competitive capacity of D. pictus in field conditions. Moreover, D. pictus showed a broader niche than the native species in all conditions, indicating increased capacity to exploit the diversity of resources; this may indirectly favor its invasiveness. Despite the limitations of this study (derived from potential variability in pond isotopic signals), the results support previous experimental studies. All the studies indicate that D. pictus competes with B. calamita for trophic resources with potential negative effects on the fitness of the latter.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 6, UNSP e0130549
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-259113DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130549ISI: 000356901900050OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-259113DiVA: diva2:843438