Collaborators: David Walters (USGS), Will Clements (Colorado State University), Travis Schmidt (USGS), Bob Zuellig (USGS), Johanna Kraus (USGS), Rich Wanty (USGS), Craig Stricker (USGS).

When insects emerge from streams and lakes, they provide energy subsidies to terrestrial food webs. As a result, subsidy theory largely assumes that the response of terrestrial predators is driven by the quantity of the subsidy (i.e. emerging insects). But emerging insects are more than a “quick meal.” Some may also be toxic, containing metals like mercury, zinc, and cadmium. Their toxicity is determined by a suite of factors: metamorphosis, species, metal bioavailability, geologic history. We study how these factors influence the trophic transfer of metals from stream to terrestrial food webs.