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SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

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Playas are small ephemeral bodies of water found in the Southern Great Plains of the US. They usually exhibit a vegetated ring around the perimeter and a clear patch in the middle. Throughout their hydroperiod, the water dries up causing it to shrink in size. The questions this project poses are: 1) is there an aquatic invertebrate community difference between the edge and the middle areas and 2) do organisms whom reside in the edge areas move inward as the playa dries up? Samples were taken from several playas throughout the hydroperiod. Samples were taken at the edge of the playa as well as in the middle at each location on each day. Macroinvertebrates were then identified to genus (if possible). While total number of invertebrates did not vary significantly across vegetated edge and the clear middle habitat, there were significant community differences. There were higher abundances of collector-gathering macroinvertebrates. Regarding community composition through the hydroperiod, there is a clear fluctuation in the communities. With some, the abundances increasing, while others go down. With most, it is not consistent throughout all of the playa sites.

Marisa Vargas (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Wisconsin-Whitewater,;

Brian O'Neill (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Wisconsin-Whitewater,;