Event Title

Does Macroalgae Invasion Alter Macroinvertebrate and or Macrophyte Communities in Wetland Habitats?

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Alexander KrestFollow

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Publication Date

25-4-2022

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Description

Understanding the role of non-native taxa in contemporary communities remains a critical area of research in ecology. While many studies have demonstrated broad changes in macrophyte communities following invasions, each new invader potentially creates consequences for the recipient community and the functional processes within it. Additionally, it remains unclear whether interactions between macroinvertebrates and vegetation also change after the arrival of non-native plants. Macroinvertebrates play an important role in maintaining ecosystem functionality, therefore disruptions to co-evolutionary adaptations between macroinvertebrates and native macrophytes remain a concern. This study investigates patterns in macroinvertebrate richness, abundance, functional feeding group representation, as well as plant richness and total biomass across five sites in upstate New York with varying dominance by the non-native macroalgae, Starry Stonewort. As N. obtusa proportional biomass increased within a site, both plant community richness and biomass declined (P < 0.001). Similarly, macroinvertebrate richness declined as the proportion on N. obtusa biomass increased (P = 0.026). The predator functional feeding group declined significantly (P = 0.044) as percent N. obtusa biomass increased, whereas other functional feeding groups were not significantly impacted. Findings suggest that this non-native macroalgae may alter some, though not all, plant and macroinvertebrate community metrics.

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Apr 25th, 12:00 AM

Does Macroalgae Invasion Alter Macroinvertebrate and or Macrophyte Communities in Wetland Habitats?

Understanding the role of non-native taxa in contemporary communities remains a critical area of research in ecology. While many studies have demonstrated broad changes in macrophyte communities following invasions, each new invader potentially creates consequences for the recipient community and the functional processes within it. Additionally, it remains unclear whether interactions between macroinvertebrates and vegetation also change after the arrival of non-native plants. Macroinvertebrates play an important role in maintaining ecosystem functionality, therefore disruptions to co-evolutionary adaptations between macroinvertebrates and native macrophytes remain a concern. This study investigates patterns in macroinvertebrate richness, abundance, functional feeding group representation, as well as plant richness and total biomass across five sites in upstate New York with varying dominance by the non-native macroalgae, Starry Stonewort. As N. obtusa proportional biomass increased within a site, both plant community richness and biomass declined (P < 0.001). Similarly, macroinvertebrate richness declined as the proportion on N. obtusa biomass increased (P = 0.026). The predator functional feeding group declined significantly (P = 0.044) as percent N. obtusa biomass increased, whereas other functional feeding groups were not significantly impacted. Findings suggest that this non-native macroalgae may alter some, though not all, plant and macroinvertebrate community metrics.