MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO HYDROLOGICAL VARIATION IN EXPERIMENTAL WETLANDS.
Wetlands provide important ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and carbon storage. Macroinvertebrates can account for a substantial portion of wetland biodiversity and play key roles in ecosystem processes. Predicted increases in the frequency of intense storms and periods of severe drought due to climate change represent a threat to wetland communities through the alterations to the hydrological regime. We used experimental wetlands to assess the effects of water permanence (i.e., duration of flooding) and prescribed burns on macroinvertebrate community structure. We hypothesize that wetlands with extended periods of flooding (i.e., permanent) would harbor higher diversity of longer-lived taxa due to environmental stability and larger availability of colonizable area. Whereas, wetlands that experienced flooding followed by rapid receding of water (i.e., temporary) would only harbor quick turnover taxa and support lower consumer diversity due to limited availability of space and decreasing water quality. Preliminary results suggest that macroinvertebrate communities differ between permanent and temporary wetlands, but that factors affecting diversity and structure may vary over time. The goal of the study is to understand wetland ecosystem responses to climate change predicted scenarios.
Checo Colón-Gaud (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Georgia Southern University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sergio Andres Sabat-Bonilla (Primary Presenter/Author,Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Georgia Southern University, Biology Department, Statesboro, GA, email@example.com;