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Indications of competition between the introduced North American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana and indigenous green frogs Hinweise zur Konkurrenz zwischen ein-geschlepptem Ochsenfrosch Rana catesbeiana und einheimischen Gruenfroeschen

Indications of competition between the introduced North American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana and indigenous green frogs Hinweise zur Konkurrenz zwischen ein-geschlepptem Ochsenfrosch Rana catesbeiana und einheimischen Gruenfroeschen

Herpetofauna (Weinstadt). 2003- April; 25143: 29-38

Indications of competition between the introduced North American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and indigenous Green Frogs. Observations on competition between the introduced North American Bullfrog (R. c.) and native Green Frogs (Rana lessonae, R. kl. esculenta, R. ridibunda) were carried out in the laboratory and in the area of the Bull-frog's allochthone occurrence near Karlsruhe, Germany. In lab experiments, 95-100% of Green Frog larvae survived when they were reared without Bullfrog larvae while 50-60% died when kept together with them, no matter what relation of water volume to number of animals or Bullfrog larvae to Green Frog larvae. This indicates an influence of Bullfrog larvae on the mortality of the indigenous Green Frog larvae Increased mortality amongst the indigenous green frog larvae could have other reasons as well, e.g. crowding effect, inhibitors, competition for food, and predation, which are discussed briefly. The laboratory results indicate interspecific competition between larvae. As Bull-frog larvae seem to have negative effects on other species of syntopic anuran larvae in the wild in the USA, we assume that interspecific effects between Bullfrog larvae and indigenous amphibians can be transferred to the situation in Karlsruhe. This is supported by a comparison between two ponds near Karlsruhe. In the one inhabited by Bull-frog larvae notably less indigenous amphibian species and especially less individuals could be recorded than in the pond where they were absent. Analyses of the gastric contents of post-metamorphosis Bullfrogs indicated that they have no negative effects on the indigenous amphibians as predators, at least not on the population level.

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