EPHEMERAL LIFE: A COMPARISON OF INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES FOUND IN SEVERAL TYPES OF POOLS
Due to their ephemeral nature, vernal pools may harbor unique animals that do not otherwise thrive in permanent bodies of water. We test the hypothesis that vernal pools have higher biodiversity than more permanent forest pools, and that both have more biodiversity than abandoned mine pools. We counted and identified invertebrates found in leaf packs placed in six pools: three vernal pools, two forest pools, and a slow-moving flow of abandoned mine drainage. All pools were in forest settings and without fish. We found that ephemeral pools had the highest species richness with 16 families, compared to 15 in forest and 4 families in the AMD pool. Forest pools had the highest overall abundance with 2,037 total organisms found, compared to 1,168 in the vernal pools and 6 in the AMD pool. NMDS plots showed moderate taxonomic turnover over two months in most pools, but two pools experienced almost no change. Our findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of vernal pools, and suggest that forest pools may be more productive seasonally. Additional leaf packs will be analyzed to assess biodiversity patterns within and across sites over the next few years.
Morgan Eytcheson (Primary Presenter/Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania , email@example.com;
Allison Crowell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Holly Travis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, email@example.com;
David Janetski (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, firstname.lastname@example.org;