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Effects of an invasive species on refuge-site selection by native fauna : the impact of cane toads on native frogs in the Australian tropics

Bleach, Iris, Beckmann, Christa, Brown, Gregory P. and Shine, Richard 2013, Effects of an invasive species on refuge-site selection by native fauna : the impact of cane toads on native frogs in the Australian tropics, Austral ecology, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 50-59, doi: 10.1111/aec.12044.

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Title Effects of an invasive species on refuge-site selection by native fauna : the impact of cane toads on native frogs in the Australian tropics
Author(s) Bleach, Iris
Beckmann, ChristaORCID iD for Beckmann, Christa orcid.org/0000-0002-7904-7228
Brown, Gregory P.
Shine, Richard
Journal name Austral ecology
Volume number 39
Issue number 1
Start page 50
End page 59
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1442-9985
1442-9993
Keyword(s) anuran
behaviour
Bufo marinus
invasive species
retreat-site selection
Summary Invasive species can induce shifts in habitat use by native taxa: either by modifying habitat availability, or by repelling or attracting native species to the vicinity of the invader. The ongoing invasion of cane toads (Rhinella marina) through tropical Australia might affect native frogs by affecting refuge-site availability, because both frogs and toads frequently shelter by day in burrows. Our laboratory and field studies in the wet-dry tropics show that native frogs of at least three species (Litoria tornieri, Litoria nasuta and Litoria dahlii) preferentially aggregate with conspecifics, and with (some) other species of native frogs. However, the frogs rarely aggregated with cane toads either in outdoor arenas or in standardized experimental burrows that we monitored in the field. The native frogs that we tested either avoided burrows containing cane toads (or cane toad scent) or else ignored the stimulus (i.e. treated such a burrow in the same way as they did an empty burrow). Native frogs selected a highly non-random suite of burrows as diurnal retreat sites, whereas cane toads were less selective. Hence, even in the absence of toads, frogs do not use many of the burrows that are suitable for toads. The invasion of cane toads through tropical Australia is unlikely to have had a major impact on retreat-site availability for native frogs.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/aec.12044
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055428

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