EVALUATING SHORT-TERM TRADE-OFFS BETWEEN MACROINVERTEBRATE BIODIVERSITY AND NUTRIENT RETENTION IN RECONNECTED LAKE ERIE COASTAL WETLANDS
Historically, coastal wetlands along the western Lake Erie basin supported many ecosystem functions including nutrient retention and biodiversity support. Remaining coastal wetlands are diked, severing hydrologic connection and limiting ecosystem functions. Growing concern over increased frequency and intensity of harmful algal blooms has prompted hydrologic reconnection of coastal wetlands to Lake Erie. Reconnecting wetlands is predicted to improve habitat and water quality in the long-term, but there may be short-term trade-offs to biodiversity. In 6 reconnected and 6 diked coastal wetlands, we compared total nitrogen and total phosphorus as direct indicators of nutrient retention and wetland plant and phytoplankton biomass as indirect indicators. Additionally, we compared macroinvertebrate diversity between wetlands to examine whether there were changes in biodiversity following reconnections. Total phosphorus and total nitrogen were higher in diked than reconnected wetlands in 2016, but the same as in reconnected wetlands in 2017. However, plant and phytoplankton biomass were higher in diked wetlands. Both taxonomic and functional macroinvertebrate diversity were similar in reconnected and diked wetlands. Together, these preliminary findings suggest there may not be trade-offs in reconnected wetlands in the short-term.
Elizabeth Berg (Primary Presenter/Author,Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Ohio State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;