Long-term effects of hybridization and introgression are influenced by performance of hybrids in habitats of parental species. The treefrogs Hyla cinerea and Hyla gratiosa, which typically breed in permanent and temporary habitats, respectively, have occasionally hybridized throughout the Southeastern United States. To predict in which of the parental habitats effects of hybridization might be strongest, I performed experiments to evaluate predation on tadpoles of H. cinerea, H. gratiosa, and F1 hybrids with predators typical of the breeding habitats of the parental species. Hybrid tadpoles had lower survival with sunfish than odonate naiad (dragonfly) predators and tended to increase hiding behavior in response to sunfish predation. Tadpoles of H. gratiosa also had higher survival with odonates than sunfish, but H. cinerea had similar survival with both predator types. These results suggest that hybrids are most likely to survive and return to breed in temporary habitats used by H. gratiosa. Thus, hybridization and introgression might be more likely to have adverse effects on populations of H. gratiosa than H. cinerea. Copyright 2005 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
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Differential predation on tadpoles influences the potential effects of hybridization between Hyla cinerea and Hyla gratiosa