Experimental ponds were used as a model system of habitat patches to study the effect of habitat size on the relative growth performance of tadpoles of Bufo americanus and Pseudacris triseriata, and on colonization by predatory insects. Three pond depths and surface areas were habitat size treatments in a replicated, factorial experiment. Tadpoles of both species were astablished together at a single density and ponds were left open to natural colonization by aquatic insects. Pond area had a significant effect on the multivariate response of P. triseriata larval period, survival, and metamorphic mass. P. triseriata survived better relative to B. americanus in larger ponds. However, increasing pond area led to greater incidence of predacious beetle larvae (Dytiscus, Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). Dytiscus larvae had a significant negative effect on the survival of P. triseriata and led to reduced P. triseriata survival relative to B. americanus in colonized ponds. The results suggest that habitat size can influence community structure by altering the distribution of predation among habitat patches.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ethologie animale
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics