Clearcutting detrimentally affects the populations of many amphibian species. However, Gray Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor) have shown a preference for breeding sites located in clearcuts near forested habitat. To test the implications of this preference, we examined Gray Treefrog tadpole performance in cattle tanks along a gradient from clearcut to forest habitat. We replicated this design at three experimental clearcut sites. Tadpole performance was measured as length of the larval period, size at metamorphosis, and survival. We also examined the influence of temperature, periphyton productivity, and invertebrate predator abundances on tadpole performance. Time to metamorphosis was shorter in the clearcuts, but metamorphs tended to be smaller than metamorphs in the forest tanks. Survival was also greater in the clearcuts than in the forest treatments. Higher temperatures in the clearcuts primarily contributed to tadpole performance whereas invertebrate predators did not appear to influence performance. Although clearcuts benefited tadpoles through higher survival and shorter larval periods, there are potential fitness consequences for small metamorphs emerging in clearcuts.
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