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Israel Journal of Zoology
  Issue:  Volume 47, Number 4 / 2001
  Pages:  419 - 431
  URL:  Linking Options

   Special Issue: Ecology of Temporary Pools
  Guest Editor(s): L. Blaustein and S.S. Schwartz
 
PREDATOR-INDUCED MORPHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL CHANGES IN A TEMPORARY POOL VERTEBRATE

REKHA TREMBATH A1 and BRADLEY R. ANHOLT A1

A1 Department of Biology, Erindale College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract:

Temporary pools vary unpredictably in their complement of predators, which should select for inducible anti-predator defenses. Temporary pools are used by many amphibians during the larval stage. We raised larvae of a hylid frog, Hyla versicolor, in the presence and absence of their predator, the larval dragonfly Anax junius. Tadpoles raised in the presence of predators were less active, more variable in size, and had larger, more brightly colored tails than those raised in the absence of predators. We found that acceleration from a motionless start was related to tail morphology. Similar to previous studies, our data suggested that tadpoles raised in the presence of predators were less vulnerable than those raised in the absence of predators, although our results were not statistically significant. The stochastic nature of oviposition into temporary pools argues that their biota will be variable in space and time. We expect that temporary pool specialists will often show inducible phenotypes for anti-predator defenses.


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