Larval amphibians (tadpoles) are an important link in aquatic food webs, as they can be highly abundant consumers and prey for a wide variety of predators. Most tadpoles are considered omnivores, predominately grazing on algae, detritus and macrophytes, though recent work has identified greater plasticity and breadth in diet than previously considered. We used gut content and stable isotope analysis (SIA) in a baseline study to determine the important dietary items (ingested material) and food sources (assimilated material) for tadpoles of two abundant generalist frog species in regulated floodplain wetlands of the Murrumbidgee River, south-east Australia. We identified a wide variety of dietary items in the gut contents, including whole microcrustaceans, filamentous algae and macrophytes. The composition of several ingested food items was correlated with their availability in each wetland. However, SIA identified biofilm as the food source most consistently assimilated across several wetlands, though microcrustaceans and algae contributed when abundant. Biofilm is likely the most important basal food item for tadpoles in floodplain wetlands because it is ubiquitous and has a high nutritional quality. Identifying important food sources is a crucial step towards developing management strategies for promoting tadpole recruitment in regulated wetlands.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 66 • No. 4