American bullfrogs are originally from the eastern United States, however, over the last century they have spread around the globe. They are a threat to many aquatic communities because they feed on and compete with native species, and they also spread amphibian diseases.
Our Masters student Robin Greene is interested in how these introduced amphibians influence aquatic ecosystems in arid-land rivers. Last summer she set up experiments on the bank of the San Pedro River (near Sierra Vista, AZ). The goal was to study how introduced bullfrog tadpoles, compared to native Woodhouse’s toad tadpoles, influence algae productivity, nutrient levels and microbial activity in the sediment.
Results to arrive soon… stay tuned!
[L to R: Bullfrog, Woodhouse's toad, Experimental setup]