Acidification can have broad effects on forest ecosystems, ranging from consequences for individual organisms to alterations in trophic dynamics. While the effects of acidification on certain aspects of forest ecosystems have been well studied, less is known about the influence of soil acidification on the forest floor food web that includes amphibians and invertebrates. We investigated the effects of acidification on the American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) and its interaction with the forest floor invertebrate community. We evaluated survival, growth, and diet of newly metamorphosed toads placed in terrestrial enclosures in forest plots with either experimentally elevated soil pH or untreated, acidified soils. We also conducted invertebrate pitfall sampling in these two soil pH types to evaluate the trophic interactions between toads and invertebrates. Toad mass after 90 days tended to be larger in plots with elevated soil pH, although survival and diet did not differ between soil pH types. We found no effect of soil pH on invertebrate abundances nor overall invertebrate diversity. We also found no evidence that toads exhibited top-down control of the invertebrate community. Collectively, our results indicate that acidified soils did not affect forest floor trophic dynamics. The presence of temporary enclosures we constructed, however, significantly reduced invertebrate abundances and overall diversity. Thus, the strong effect these structures can have on invertebrate communities should be considered when used in future studies.

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