DECOMPOSITION AND MACROINVERTEBRATE COLONIZATION OF RIPARIAN LEAF SPECIES IN THE POMME DE TERRE RIVER
We studied the role of riparian plants as habitat and food for macroinvertebrates in the Pomme de Terre River, an agricultural stream in western Minnesota. We characterized riparian tree cover, decomposition of leaves of 4 common riparian species, and the macroinvertebrate community colonizing leaf packs. Leaf packs contained boxelder, cottonwood, buckthorn or cattail leaves. Fresh leaves were air dried prior to placing into individual mesh bags and deploying in the river. Leaf material (1.96 cm2) from each leaf pack was dried and weighed every 3-4 days for 3 weeks. Colonization leaf packs were undisturbed for 21 days. Riparian tree cover varied among counties and ranged from 17-65%. Cottonwood and cattail decomposed more slowly than boxelder and buckthorn leaves, which disintegrated by the end of the experiment. Macroinvertebrate abundance differed significantly among leaf species (ANOVA, p=0.0284), but taxon richness did not. Species with more robust leaves such as cottonwood and cattail provide stable habitat for more macroinvertebrates than delicate leaves such as buckthorn and boxelder make poor habitat. In agricultural streams both native and nonnative riparian species contribute organic matter to the stream.
Lillian Fulton (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Minnesota Morris, email@example.com;
Jennifer Peterson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota Morris, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Tracey Anderson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota Morris, email@example.com;