Animals live in complex environments that vary spatially and temporally. This heterogeneity strongly influences the availability and quality of food resources and has strong impacts on growth and survival of consumers. Geographically isolated wetlands provide an interesting system to study trophic relationships because they vary spatially and temporally in hydrology and vegetation. Larval anurans play an important role in these wetland systems because they are often the most abundant consumers. Yet, little is known about larval anuran diet. Here we assessed the diet of 3 larval anurans (Acris gryllus [Southern Cricket Frog], Hyla gratiosa [Barking Treefrog], and Lithobates sphenocephalus [Southern Leopard Frog]), across 2 isolated wetland types (marsh and cypress savanna) using a stable isotope mixing model, stable isotope analysis in R (SIAR). Furthermore, we assessed variation in basal resource and anuran tissue stoichiometry (C:N). Our analyses suggested that larvae of these 3 species primarily function as herbivores and detritivores. All fed on a mix of algal resources, detrital particulate organic matter, and litter originating from the wetland canopy. Barking Treefrog had a lower C:N than the other two species, suggesting their dietary N requirements may be greater. Understanding the trophic roles of these animals is essential in determining their ecological significance and contributes to a more complete view of isolated wetlands in the surrounding landscape.
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Vol. 16 • No. 1