REPETITIVE DISAPPEARANCE OF AQUATIC HABITAT IN A TEMPORARY WETLAND ECOSYSTEM: HOW DO ORGANISMS COPE?
As one of the most common temporary ecosystems, ephemeral wetlands are present in landscapes across the world. Characterized by their repetitive cycling hydroperiod, ephemeral wetlands are home to diverse communities of aquatic organisms. These communities are subject to a constant state of change and have adapted to cope with the continuous assembly and disassembly of ephemeral wetlands. Community disassembly is the non-random process of progressive species declines and losses. This study seeks to examine how disassembly proceeds in vegetated and clear areas of ephemeral wetlands. If such a difference does exist, we hope to examine where the inhabitants of these temporary ecosystems go during disassembly. To examine community disassembly, a variety of wetlands in Colorado’s Pawnee National Grassland were sampled in the Summer of 2015 throughout their hydroperiods. Vegetated areas were found to be more diverse than clear areas. Further analysis is required on the last sampling date to further determine the patterns of community disassembly. These findings contribute to a more complete understanding of temporary ecosystems, and shed light onto the less explored topic of disassembly.
Chantelle Wernecke (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, WerneckeCM19@uww.edu;
Brian O'Neill (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, firstname.lastname@example.org;