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Aquatic Invertebrate Abundance in Relation to Changing Marsh Vegetation

David K. Voigts
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 95, No. 2 (Apr., 1976), pp. 313-322
DOI: 10.2307/2424396
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2424396
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Aquatic Invertebrate Abundance in Relation to Changing Marsh Vegetation
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Abstract

The relationship between invertebrate populations and vegetative cover was studied in several Iowa marshes during the peak of the avian nesting season. Shallow water with emergent and floating dead vegetation produced the most isopods, planorbid snails and physid snails. Physid snails had another abundance peak in areas where submerged plants were found below dense free-floating plants. Midges reached greatest abundance in more open habitats somewhat protected from the wind. Amphipods were the most numerous invertebrate taxa and were most abundant in dense beds of submerged vegetation. Cladocera and copepods were most common in quiet pools with little vegetation. Total invertebrate abundance increased as the emergent vegetation was replaced by submerged vegetation, but maximum numbers occurred where beds of submerged vegetation were interspersed with stands of emergent vegetation. It is suggested that nesting marsh birds are attracted to marshes that produce the most invertebrates.

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