EFFECTS OF INVASIVE PLANTS ON RIPARIAN INSECT COMMUNITIES AND PREY SUBSIDIES TO STREAMS
Invasive plants can affect higher trophic levels by reducing habitat and food resource availability for native fauna. In riparian systems, vegetation serves as habitat for terrestrial insects, as well as influencing inputs of allochthonous material to streams. Little is known about how invasive riparian plants may affect cross-ecosystem subsidies of terrestrial arthropods. This study used two paired stream reaches (invaded and native) in Sonoma County, California, to test how invasive plants influenced riparian insect communities (using pan traps) and terrestrial insect subsidies to streams (using floating pan traps). Insect abundance was higher in invaded sites than in native sites; one of the invaded sites had lower rarefied richness than the two native sites. Terrestrial insect subsidies were generally higher in invaded sites than in native sites, although subsidies varied throughout the summer. This study helps further our understanding of how invasive plants affect both terrestrial insect communities and the availability of allochthonous prey in streams, with implications for the restoration of riparian zones and conservation of aquatic insectivores, such as salmonids.
Elias Lopez (Primary Presenter/Author), California State University, Stanislaus, email@example.com;