Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - 4:20 PM

COS 47-9: Aquatic macroinvertebrate communities of restored and natural wetlands in the Sacramento Valley

Mariah M. Garr, California State University, Chico and Michael P. Marchetti, Department of Biology.

North America has an abundance of diverse wetland types.  The complexity, the ecosystem services they provide, and their connection with the surrounding landscape is not well understood.  As remnant wetlands are more closely studied and their ecological functions are better appreciated, there has been a growing need for restoration of these habitats, yet it is not clear whether restored wetlands function like natural systems.  Aquatic macroinvertebrates are known to be good biological indicators in lotic systems, but have not been evaluated as an indicator of restoration success in wetland systems.   This study compares macroinvertebrate community structure in a chronosequence of restored and remnant wetlands to determine if, the aquatic community in restoration areas approaches that of natural systems.  To look for differences among wetlands we collected macroinvertebrates at three time periods and used ANOVA, non-metric multidimensional scaling and ANOSIM to compare assemblage structures.  Our analyses suggest the restored macroinvertebrate communities do not converge on the natural community in a linear fashion.  Instead communities seem to assemble members in a more haphazard and non-linear manner.  These results suggest that macroinvertebrates may be a valuable tool for evaluation of restoration success but that the macroinvertebrate community may not assemble in a predictable pattern.