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Title: Factors Mediating co-occurrence of an economically valuable introduced fish and its native frog prey

Author: Hartman, Rosemary; Pope, Karen; Lawler, Sharon;

Date: 2013

Source: Conservation Biology 28(3):763-772

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Habitat characteristics mediate predator-prey coexistence in many ecological systemd but are seldom considered in species introductions. When economically important introduced predators are stocked despite known impacts on native species, understanding the role of refuges, landscape configurations, and community interactions can inform habitat management plans. We measured these factors in basins with introduced trout (Salmonidae) and the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae) to determine which are responsible for observed patterns of co-occurrence of this economically important predator and its native prey. Large, vegetated shallows were strongly correlated to co-occurrence and R. cascadae larvae occur in shallower water when fish are present, presumably to escape predation. The number of nearby breeding sites of R. cascadae was also correlated to co-occurrence, but only when the western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) was present. Because A. boreas larvae are unpalatable to fish and resemble R. cascadae, they may provide protection from trout via Batesian mimicry. Although rescue-effect dispersal from nearby populations may maintain co-occurrence, within-lake factors proved more important for predicting co-occurrence. Learning which factors allow co-occurrence between economically important introduced species and their native prey enables managers to make better-informed stocking decisions.

Keywords: amphibians, conservation planning, facilitation, fisheries, freshwater, lake, predator indirect effects, refuges

Publication Notes:

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Hartman, Rosemary; Pope, Karen; Lawler, Sharon 2013. Factors Mediating co-occurrence of an economically valuable introduced fish and its native frog prey. Conservation Biology 28(3):763-772.


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