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Seasonal comparison of aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages in a flooded coastal freshwater marsh

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DOI: 10.4236/oje.2013.32011    4,106 Downloads   7,973 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Marsh flooding and drying may be important factors affecting aquatic macroinvertebrate density and distribution in coastal freshwater marshes. Limited availability of water as a result of drying in emergent marsh may decrease density, taxonomic diversity, and taxa richness. The principal objectives of this study are to characterize the seasonal aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblage in a freshwater emergent marsh and compare aquatic macroinvertebrate species composition, density, and taxonomic diversity to that of freshwater marsh ponds. We hypothesize that 1) freshwater emergent marsh has lower seasonal density and taxonomic diversity compared to that of freshwater marsh ponds; and 2) freshwater emergent marsh has lower taxa richness than freshwater marsh ponds. Seasonal aquatic macroinvertebrate density in freshwater emergent marsh ranged from 0 organisms/m2 (summer 2009) to 91.1 ± 20.53 organisms/m2 (mean ± SE; spring 2009). Density in spring was higher than in all other seasons. Taxonomic diversity did not differ and there were no unique species in the freshwater emergent marsh. Our data only partially support our first hypothesis as aquatic macroinvertebrate density and taxonomic diversity between freshwater emergent marsh and ponds did not differ in spring, fall, and winter but ponds supported higher macroinvertebrate densities than freshwater emergent marsh during summer. However, our data did not support our second hypothesis as taxa richness between freshwater emergent marsh and ponds did not statistically differ.

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Kang, S. and King, S. (2013) Seasonal comparison of aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages in a flooded coastal freshwater marsh. Open Journal of Ecology, 3, 94-101. doi: 10.4236/oje.2013.32011.

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