We examined the interactive effects of overwintered Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpoles and pond hydroperiod on a community of larval amphibians in outdoor mesocosms including American Toads (Bufo americanus), Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum)—species within the native range of Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders and Southern Leopard Frogs were negatively influenced by the presence of overwintered Bullfrogs. Spotted Salamanders had shorter larval periods and slightly smaller masses at metamorphosis, and Southern Leopard Frogs had smaller masses at metamorphosis when reared with Bullfrogs than without. Presence of overwintered Bullfrogs, however, did not significantly affect American Toads. Longer pond hydroperiods resulted in greater survival, greater size at metamorphosis, longer larval periods, and later time until emergence of the first metamorphs for Southern Leopard Frog tadpoles and Spotted Salamander larvae. Our study demonstrated that overwintered Bullfrog tadpoles can respond to changing pond hydroperiods and can negatively impact metamorphosis of native amphibians.
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Vol. 2004 • No. 3