Aquatic invertebrate production in moist-soil managed wetlands on Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area, east-central Texas

Daniel P. Collins, Warren C. Conway, Corey D. Mason, Jeffrey W. Gunnels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aquatic invertebrates have significant value to wetland-dependent species as well as to wetlands themselves. They process organic matter through producer and detritus food webs, modify wetland habitats, and provide a food resource to wetland-dependent species such as waterfowl and shorebirds. Timely flooding and drawdown of water within moist-soil managed wetlands will increase invertebrate diversity and abundance, allowing wetland managers to maximize the production of such areas. We examined how flood timing and duration influenced aquatic invertebrate density, diversity, richness, and production within four moist-soil managed wetlands on Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area, east-central Texas from January 2004 through December 2006. A total of 12,089 aquatic invertebrates from 41 aquatic invertebrate families were collected. Overall, diversity indices were 0.76 (Simpson's Index) and 2.47 (Shannon-Wiener Index). Most common aquatic invertebrates were Crustacea (n = 3,568) and Ephemeroptera (n = 2,080). Differences in aquatic invertebrate density and biomass varied depending on the presence of water over time. Invertebrate community diversity and production peaked early but experienced a nearly sixfold decline over 3 y due to atypical and prolonged inundation regimes in these managed wetlands. Proper inundation duration and timing regimes are key to maintaining invertebrate community diversity and production in moist-soil managed wetlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Volume60
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

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