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Competitive interactions and distributional dynamics in two Malagasy frogs



Competitive interactions and distributional dynamics in two Malagasy frogs



Journal of Tropical Ecology 21(5): 569-576



Ecological theory predicts that interspecific interactions can affect population and community dynamics. Two experiments were conducted on Mantidactylus bicalearatus and M. punctatus, two sympatric frog species from Madagascar that live and breed in rain-forest plants (Pandanus spp.), to test for interspecific competition. The first experiment examined larval growth rates and survivorship with and without conspecifics. While survivorship did not differ among treatments, mean growth rates for M. bicalearatus were significantly reduced in the presence of M. punctatus larvae. The second experiment manipulated the presence and density of adults in Pandanus plants. Emigration from and immigration to experimental plants tended to be higher and lower, respectively, for M. bicalcaratus in the presence of M, punctatus, but these differences were not significant. These results demonstrate asymmetric competition (at least as larvae) and indicate that M. punctatus is the superior competitor. Field data showed that M. bicalcaratus was found significantly more frequently in the absence of M. punctatus. Also, M. bicalearatus populations were significantly more likely to go locally extinct in the presence of M. punctatus. These data suggest that asymmetric competitive interactions are important influences on the dynamics of these populations.

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Accession: 004084137

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DOI: 10.1017/s0266467405002580


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