Prey species that occur across a range of habitats may be exposed to variable communities of multiple predator species across habitats. Predicting the combined effects of multiple predators can be complex. Many experiments evaluating the effects of multiple predators on prey confound either variation in predator density with predator identity or variation in relative predator frequency with overall predation rates. We develop a new experimental design of factorial predator combinations that maintains a constant expected predation rate, under the null hypothesis of additive predator effects. We implement this design to evaluate the combined effects of three predator species (bass, aeshnid and libellulid odonate naiads) on mortality rate of a prey species, Hyla cinerea (Schneider, 1799) tadpoles, that occurs across a range of aquatic habitats. Two predator treatments (libellulid and aeshnid + libellulid) resulted in lower tadpole mortality than any of the other predator treatments. Variation in tadpole mortality across treatments was not related to coarse variation in microhabitat use, but was likely due to intraguild predation, which occurred in all predator treatments. Hyla cinerea tadpoles have constant, low survival values when exposed to many different combinations of predator species, and predation rate probably increases linearly with predator density.
|Title||Effects of multiple predator species on green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) tadpoles|
|Authors||M. S. Gunzburger, J. Travis|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Canadian Journal of Zoology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|