Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Abstract

Aquatic macroinvertebrates are important in wetland ecosystems; many fish and wildlife species depend upon them for food resources and they aid in nutrient cycling. Wetland macroinvertebrate communities are influenced by plant community composition; as such, this study examined two implications of invasive hybrid cattail, Typha × glauca (Typha), on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in northern Great Lakes coastal wetlands: 1) how the presence of nearly monotypic stands of Typha alters wetland aquatic macroinvertebrate communities and 2) how manual removal of Typha, via mowing and manual tilling, impacts these invertebrate communities along with wetland plant communities. I found that in emergent marsh habitats the presence of Typha decreased aquatic macroinvertebrate density and altered biomass production throughout the summer. I also established that the methods of Typha management implemented in this study did not significantly impact the standing stock of wetland macroinvertebrates but did alter the plant community composition within the study wetlands. This research showed that the presence of invasive Typha negatively impacts aquatic macroinvertebrate communities within Great Lakes coastal wetlands and that removal of Typha from these wetlands improves the quality of the plant community without further disturbing these invertebrate communities one year post removal. Early intervention of invasive plants like Typha could help to ensure Great Lakes coastal wetlands retain their unique ecological communities and functions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS