CHRISTER BRONMARK D e p a r t m e n t o f Ecology University of Lund Helgonav~gen 5 S-223 62 Lund Sweden PER EDENHAMN Department of Wildlife Ecology Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Box 7002 S-750 07 Uppsala Sweden Introduction In recent years there has been increasing concern over a possible global decline of amphibian populations (Blaustein & Wake 1990). The causes behind a decline are not clear, but factors such as stochastic environmental disturbance, destruction of natural habitat, acid rain, pesticides, and introduction of exotic predators have been invoked (Blanstein & Wake 1990). Most amphibian species have complex life cycles with a terrestrial adult stage and an aquatic larval stage, and the population size of adults may depend on the size and abundance of metamorphs (Wilbur 1980; Smith 1983). Thus, understanding factors that affect the success of the aquatic stage may prove helpful for understanding the current decline in amphibian populations. A number of laboratory and field studies have demonstrated density-dependent growth rates of tadpoles (see Wilbur 1976; Semlitsch & Caldwell 1982; Travis 1983), resulting in differences in larval period and size at metamorphosis, which are correlated with fitnessrelated traits of adult amphibians (see Berven
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1994
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