Insects 2012, 3(2), 432-441; doi:10.3390/insects3020432
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Trophic Interactions Between Insects and Stream-Associated Amphibians in Steep, Cobble-Bottom Streams of the Pacific Coast of North America

Department of Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, 3041-2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 February 2012; in revised form: 22 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 10 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trophic Interactions of Insects and Amphibians)
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Abstract: Two native, stream-associated amphibians are found in coastal streams of the west coast of North America, the tailed frog and the coastal giant salamander, and each interacts with stream insects in contrasting ways. For tailed frogs, their tadpoles are the primary life stage found in steep streams and they consume biofilm from rock surfaces, which can have trophic and non-trophic effects on stream insects. By virtue of their size the tadpoles are relatively insensitive to stream insect larvae, and tadpoles are capable of depleting biofilm levels directly (exploitative competition), and may also “bulldoze” insect larvae from the surfaces of stones (interference competition). Coastal giant salamander larvae, and sometimes adults, are found in small streams where they prey primarily on stream insects, as well as other small prey. This predator-prey interaction with stream insects does not appear to result in differences in the stream invertebrate community between streams with and without salamander larvae. These two examples illustrate the potential for trophic and non-trophic interactions between stream-associated amphibians and stream insects, and also highlights the need for further research in these systems.
Keywords: aquatic insects; biofilms; coastal giant salamander; competition; predation; streams; tailed frog; trophic interactions

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MDPI and ACS Style

Atwood, T.; Richardson, J.S. Trophic Interactions Between Insects and Stream-Associated Amphibians in Steep, Cobble-Bottom Streams of the Pacific Coast of North America. Insects 2012, 3, 432-441.

AMA Style

Atwood T, Richardson JS. Trophic Interactions Between Insects and Stream-Associated Amphibians in Steep, Cobble-Bottom Streams of the Pacific Coast of North America. Insects. 2012; 3(2):432-441.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Atwood, Trisha; Richardson, John S. 2012. "Trophic Interactions Between Insects and Stream-Associated Amphibians in Steep, Cobble-Bottom Streams of the Pacific Coast of North America." Insects 3, no. 2: 432-441.

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