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Tadpoles, Predation and Pond Habitats in the Tropics
W. Ronald Heyer, Roy W. McDiarmid and Diana L. Weigmann
Vol. 7, No. 2 (Jul., 1975), pp. 100-111
Published by: Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2989753
Page Count: 12
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Tadpoles involved in predator-prey interactions were studied in tropical wet forest in Costa Rica under laboratory and field conditions. Larvae of the frog Leptodactylus pentadactylus and naiads of the odonate Pantala flavescens are important predators on larvae of several species of frogs. The predators discriminate the prey on the basis of size and species, but not type of habitat in which predation occurs. A graphical model is proposed to illustrate the relationships between species diversity and habitat complexity as they affect the composition of tadpole communities. The model is used to evaluate the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors in determining the use of specific kinds of aquatic habitats by frogs with larval stages. Predation by permanent aquatic predators (primarily fish) is considered to be the most important biotic factor influencing the temporal and spatial composition of tadpole communities. The development and maintenance of predatory feeding modes, including cannibalism, in certain tadpoles is examined in light of the model.
Biotropica © 1975 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation