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Q.2-08: Assessment of macro-invertebrates in restored wetlands managed for waterfowl in east-central, WI

Presented by Marissa Kaminski - Email: marissakami77@gmail.com

In the summer of 2017, we evaluated factors affecting macro-invertebrate communities and biomass estimates for waterfowl broods across 80 restored wetlands in southeastern Wisconsin. Studied wetlands were within the Glacial Habitat Restoration Area (GHRA), which covers 558,879 acres in east-central Wisconsin, and consists of mostly agriculture with a mix of farms, crops, small woodlots, wetlands, shallow lakes, and residential development. Wetlands in our study were categorized into three groups based on hydrologic modification (e.g., least to most intensively engineered) and included Waterfowl Production Areas as a reference group. A non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis (NMDS) indicated macro-invertebrate community assemblages were similar between all wetland categories. Additionally, among the multiple environmental variables studied, the NMDS indicated dissolved oxygen, seasonal water fluctuation, and the amount of leafy pondweed (Potomageten foliosus) as the only variables that explain differences in community composition of macro-invertebrate taxa. Next, we used a macro-invertebrate biotic index (MBI) developed for shallow depressional wetlands and determined a good ranking for all wetlands with no statistical difference in MBI scores among the restored wetland types. We also failed to find any statistical differences among any of our wetland categories for macro-invertebrate diversity, richness, abundance, or total biomass. Finally, among macro-invertebrates, we found Gastropods and Odonates, which are preferred by duck broods, to be abundant in all wetland types. Given that there was no significant statistical differences across examined variables, as well as ample biomass to support waterfowl broods, we conclude that macro-invertebrate communities found across studied wetlands are robust to differences in restoration treatments. Together, we report that the integrity and abundance of macro-invertebrates are sufficient to support breeding waterfowl, at least in the Glacial Habitat Restoration Area of Wisconsin.
Session: Poster Session 2 (Wednesday, August 28, 19:00 to 21:00)