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SFS Annual Meeting

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Woody debris is an important habitat for aquatic organisms, yet the effect of vines wrapped around the logs, adding structural complexity and surface area, has not been investigated. Vines naturally grow on riparian trees while they are living. When the trees die and fall into the stream, the vines remain, becoming integrated into the aquatic habitat. This experiment investigated the effect of structural complexity, in the form of submerged woody debris with vines attached, on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in Augusta Creek, Michigan. Vines were randomly removed from three out of the six logs studied. Sites were sampled twice before and three times after vine removal. Functional feeding groups, density estimates, and Simpson’s diversity indices were determined for collected macroinvertebrates. Preliminary results indicate that two weeks and seven weeks after vine removal, macroinvertebrate diversity was higher in logs with vines still intact, compared to logs with vines removed, yet this was not statistically significant (F=3.218, p>0.05). Both had similar values four weeks after removal. This is the first study that quantifies the effect of submerged vines on aquatic communities.

Katie Kierczynski (Primary Presenter/Author), Michigan State University,;

Courtney Larson ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Michigan State University,;

M. Eric Benbow ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Michigan State University,;