Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

James Vonesh

Abstract

Historically studies have focused on either the terrestrial or aquatic environments independently. However, these systems are inherently linked through numerous pathways including organisms with complex life cycles. Both abiotic factors and predators of these organisms can influence connections by changing the number of prey moving across habitat boundaries and by changing the phenotype of prey. When the focal organisms are primary consumers, these effects may have important implications for ecosystem processes. My study investigated how terrestrial predators and abiotic factors affect the number and phenotype of herbivorous tadpole inputs into a tropical forest pond. I found that predators and abiotic factors altered survival and timing of hatching and these effects varied temporally. Thus, temporal changes in the relative importance of these threats from abiotic sources and terrestrial predators on prey with complex life cycles may potentially have implications for connections with and food web dynamics in adjacent ecosystems.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009

Included in

Biology Commons

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