Return to Conservation Biology Research on Invertebrates

Miller, A.T. 2001. Aquatic communities in northern forest wetlands: characteristics and influences of timber harvest. M.S. Thesis, North Dakota State University. 115 pp.


Using exploratory analysis, I assessed natural variation and responses to experimental timber harvest by aquatic invertebrate communities in 16 seasonally flooded wetlands in old-growth (70+ years since harvest) aspen stands in north central Minnesota. In the post-treatment year, I also assessed responses of algae and other wetland physical features to the experimental treatments. Pre-treatment analysis of aquatic invertebrate communities revealed that wetland hydroperiod and organic carbon concentration influenced invertebrate distribution and abundance, although wetland spatial differences between clusters accounted for the greatest variation. Post-treatment analysis also indicated strong influence of hydroperiod, carbon concentration and spatial variation on invertebrate communities. Additionally, wetlands associated with clear-cut treatments had longer hydroperiods, increased primary productivity, and both positive and negative invertebrate responses. Algae exhibited no significant response to treatment or measured environmental variables.

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