Benthic Macroinvertebrates of Small Florida Pondcypress Swamps and the Influence of Dry Periods

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Drawdown, Forested wetland, Macroinvertebrates, Pondcypress swamps

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Benthic macroinvertebrate communities were sampled bimonthly from December 1993 to April 1995 in three small pondcypress swamps. Eighty-five taxa were collected, with Chironomidae, Dytiscidae, and Hydrophilidae contributing large numbers of genera. Annual mean density was 4,229 individuals/m2 , and monthly densities for individual ponds ranged from 950 to 11,623 individuals/m2 . Three genera, Crangonyx (Amphipoda), Polypedilum, and Chironomus (Chironomidae), accounted for 70% of the total density. High levels of temporal and inter-pond variability were documented. Taxon richness and total density of communities sampled during drawdown were similar to those of wet months. The large number of taxa unique to the dry period contributed substantially to overall taxon richness. The benthic macroinvertebrate communities of these systems seem to be adapted to unpredictable drawdown.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Wetlands, v. 17, issue 4, p. 447-455