Document Detail

Consequences of intraspecific niche variation: phenotypic similarity increases competition among recently metamorphosed frogs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21221649     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Phenotype is often correlated with resource use, which suggests that as phenotypic variation in a population increases, intraspecific competition will decrease. However, few studies have experimentally tested the prediction that increased intraspecific phenotypic variation leads to reduced competitive effects (e.g., on growth rate, survival or reproductive rate). We investigated this prediction with two experiments on wood frogs (Rana sylvatica). In the first experiment, we found that a frog's size was positively correlated with the size of its preferred prey, indicating that the feeding niche of the frogs changed with size. In the second experiment, we used an experimental design in which we held the initial mass of "focal" frogs constant, but varied the initial mass of their competitors. We found a significant quadratic effect of the average mass of competitors: focal frog growth was lowest when raised with similar-sized competitors, and highest when raised with competitors that were larger or smaller. Our results demonstrate that growth rates increase (i.e., competitive intensity decreases) when individuals are less similar to other members of the population and exhibit less overlap in resource use. Thus, changes in the amount of phenotypic variation in a population may ultimately affect population-level processes, such as population growth rate and extinction risk.
Michael F Benard; Jessica Middlemis Maher
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-1-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1939     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-1-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1048, USA,
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