Typha invasion associated with reduced aquatic macroinvertebrate abundance in northern Lake Huron coastal wetlands

TitleTypha invasion associated with reduced aquatic macroinvertebrate abundance in northern Lake Huron coastal wetlands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLawrence BA, Bourke K, Lishawa SC, Tuchman NC
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Pagination1412 - 1419
Date PublishedJan-12-2016
KeywordsGreat Lakes coastal wetlands, Invasive species, Macroinvertebrates, TYPHA X GLAUCA

Aquatic macroinvertebrates are a critical component of wetland nutrient cycling and food webs, with many
fish and wildlife species depending upon them as food resources; but little is known about how invasion by
dominant macrophytes may alter community dynamics. We examined the impacts of Typha invasion on aquatic
macroinvertebrate communities in three northern Great Lakes coastal wetlands by comparing community
composition between stands of native emergent marsh and those dominated by invasive Typha. Typha invaded
zones were associated with shallower and coolerwater than native emergent zones, and we detected decreased
aquatic macroinvertebrate density and biomass in invaded zones. After accounting for the positive effect of plant
species richness on macroinvertebrate abundance, we observed Typha invaded coastal zones had less total
macroinvertebrate and insect biomass than native zones across all levels of plant richness. Our results suggest
that Typha invasion reduces habitat quality for aquatic macroinvertebrates by homogenizing structural diversity
and reducing water temperatures, which in turn may negatively impact predatory organisms by decreasing food
resources. We recommend experimental tests of Typha management treatments to identify techniques that may
promote structurally diverse and biologically rich Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

Short TitleJournal of Great Lakes Research
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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