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SFS Annual Meeting

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USE OF ADULT ANURAN COMMUNITIES AND DIETS TO ASSESS THE EFFECTS OF STREAM RESTORATION ON AQUATIC TO TERRESTRIAL FOOD WEB SUBSIDIES

Stream restoration projects are increasingly common, but studies of ecological responses remain scarce. The Cache River, in southernmost Illinois, was separated by a canal project in 1916, disconnecting the upper and lower sections. Consequently, the upper section has suffered severe bank erosion and channel incision. To stabilize the channel, 25 Newbury weirs were added from 2001-2004. These restored riffles have higher abundance of large bodied insects that emerge from them, but it is not clear how this subsidy affects riparian communities. We are examining community structure of anurans at weir and non-weir sites along the upper Cache River, as well as collecting gut contents for fatty acid analyses to assess the degree of aquatic-derived prey in diets. Preliminary results indicate anuran diversity is marginally higher at non-weir sites (p= 0.056), and abundance showed no difference between site types (p= 0.7). Results thus far suggest that weirs are not influencing anuran communities. Gut content analyses will reveal if food quantity and quality differ with site type. Considering global amphibian declines, understanding sources and nutritional value of prey is critical for management and conservation of these at-risk species.

Kelsey Bowe (Primary Presenter/Author), Southern Illinois University Carbondale, kelsey.bowe@siu.edu;


Matt Whiles (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Florida, mwhiles@zoology.siu.edu;