TITLE

Environmental complexity reduces tadpole predation by water bugs

AUTHOR(S)
Kopp, K.; Wachlevski, M.; Eterovick, P. C.
PUB. DATE
January 2006
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Jan2006, Vol. 84 Issue 1, p136
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
We assessed the role of habitat structure in the outcome of predation by measuring how aquatic vegetation influences predation rates of water bugs (Belostoma oxyurum (Dufour, 1863), Hemiptera, Belostomatidae) on tadpoles of Dendropsophus minutus (Peters, 1872) and Scinax curicica Pugliese, Pombal, and Sazima, 2004 (Anura, Hylidae). Considering that previous studies have shown that some tadpole species preferentially use microhabitats with aquatic vegetation at sites in southeastern Brazil, we hypothesized that these tadpoles may select such complex microhabitats because they can offer some protection against co-occurring predatory aquatic insects. We used field enclosures containing tadpoles of D. minutus and S. curicica and one predator (B. oxyurum), placed on natural substrata in sites both with and without aquatic vegetation, according to treatment. We measured the combined effects of predation and habitat structure on the survivorship of tadpoles, monitoring each enclosure daily during 10 days to survey surviving tadpoles. Treatments with predators reduced tadpole survivorship significantly in relation to controls for both tadpole species. The interaction between predator and vegetation was also significant, predation rates being lower when vegetation was present.
ACCESSION #
20286230

 

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