Fish predation can structure zooplankton communities; however, the impacts of other organisms on zooplankton communities, alone or interacting with fish predation, are less known. We used two mesocosm experiments to study the impacts of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and tadpoles on temperate zooplankton communities, one with American Toad tadpoles (Anaxyrus americanus) and the other with Bullfrog tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus). In both experiments Daphnia (a larger bodied cladoceran) were virtually eliminated and rotifers were more abundant with Bluegill. Bluegill slightly reduced cyclopoid copepods in the American Toad experiment but not significantly, whereas cyclopoid copepods were more abundant with Bluegill in the Bullfrog experiment. Bosmina (a smaller bodied cladoceran) in the Bullfrog experiment were more abundant when Bluegill were absent, but there was no significant effect of Bluegill in the American Toad experiment. Tadpoles in general had no effect on our zooplankton communities. Our experiments confirm the influence of Bluegill on zooplankton communities, whereas tadpoles of the two anuran species had no widespread effects on zooplankton.
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Vol. 186 • No. 1