Response of aquatic invertebrates to ecological rehabilitation of Southeastern USA depressional wetlands.
Abstract We assessed aquatic invertebrate response to ecological rehabilitation treatment in 20 depression wetlands on the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, USA. All wetlands had been ditched for 50+ years. Sixteen of the 20 wetlands received rehabilitation treatment, and four wetlands remained untreated as a control group. Treatment included logging of all trees, plugging drainage ditches, and planting wetland trees and grasses. Hydroperiods were consequently extended in most of the treatment wetlands. As part a larger study, we sampled macroinvertebrates and microcrustaceans during the pre-habilitation (1998–2000) and rehabilitation (2001–2003) phases. Our study spanned 2 years of high rainfall (1998 and 2003) and 4 years of low rainfall (1999–2002). Samples were collected bimonthly from any wetlands holding water. Macroinvertebrate assemblages in treatment wetlands in 2003 had changed from previous years (1998–2002) and compared to control wetlands (1998–2003), with abundances of Baetidae, Coenagrionidae, Dytiscidae, Chironomidae, and Chaoboridae driving variation. For microcrustaceans (Copepoda and Branchiopoda, including Cladocera, Anostraca and Laevicaudata), assemblage composition and species richness responded mainly to hydrologic conditions. Rehabilitation efforts in these wetlands induced diverse and abundant invertebrate communities to develop, but some responses appeared opportunistic; several taxa that benefitted were not typical residents of depressional wetlands in the region.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Report Number(s):
- DOE Contract Number:
- Resource Type:
- Research Org:
- USDA Forest Service-Savannah River, New Ellenton, SC
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (AU), Office of Security (AU-50)
- Contributing Orgs:
- USDA Forest Service-Savannah River
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES Carolina bays; Hydrology; Macroinvertebrates; Microcrustaceans; Opportunism; Wetland restoration