Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

James Vonesh


Predation, density and disease affect behavior, morphology and growth. There is a lack of information on how these changes relate to efficiency of energy transfer in anuran larvae, although previous studies suggest that predation should decrease and competition should increase efficiency. Using a 2 x 2 factorial design, we manipulated predation presence and larval density to test how predation risk and density affect energy efficiency. During the experiment, approximately half of the tadpoles were infected by an unknown disease. Neither predation risk nor density affected assimilation or growth efficiency, despite changes in growth and development. Disease, however, decreased gut length and growth efficiency. This study builds on past work on the effects of predation and density on a larval amphibian, but also introduces disease as another factor. Our study suggests that disease may be at least as important if not more important than predation or density in regards to growth efficiency.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2008

Included in

Biology Commons