CLIMATE STRESSORS AND THE TOLERANCE OF FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES ALONG AN ELEVATIONAL GRADIENT
As climate change alters the availability and quality of aquatic habitats, aquatic invertebrates may be an important indicator of vulnerability to stressors like temperature and drying. Across the Southwest, a network of semi-natural ephemeral and permanent ponds support numerous species of aquatic invertebrates, but little is known about current or future community composition. We sampled invertebrates in permanent and ephemeral ponds across an elevational gradient to determine how diversity varies with environmental stress. Additionally, we used temperature trials in the lab to test how local populations of mayflies and water boatmen vary in their ability to survive in warmer water. We found that survival time in warmer waters (>25oC) was more strongly reduced for mayflies regardless of pond source. This may be because mayflies are more susceptible to lowered oxygen concentrations due to their subsurface breathing mechanisms.
Morgan Andrews (Primary Presenter/Author), Northern Arizona University , email@example.com;