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Keywords:

  • Aquatic insect emergence;
  • forest bird;
  • forest–stream ecotone;
  • leaf roller;
  • Lepidoptera

Abstract

A manipulative field experiment was performed to determine the effect of birds, subsidized by aquatic insect emergence, on the insect herbivores in a riparian deciduous forest. Insectivorous birds were observed more frequently in the riparian forest than in upland forest away from the stream, utilizing both herbivorous insects feeding on the riparian vegetation and aquatic insects emerging from the stream as their prey. Field experiments revealed that the insect herbivore population in the riparian forest was more depressed by bird predation than that in the upland forest. This suggests that allochthonous prey input to the in situ prey population was responsible for a modification in the interaction between birds and herbivorous insects, resulting in a heterogeneous food web structure in the forest.