Interaction of land use and wet/dry cycles on invertebrate populations of northern prairie wetlands: implications for waterbird habitat conservation

Science Center Objects

This effort is aimed at understanding how productivity of larger and more permanent wetlands is influenced by a combination of inter-annual hydrological dynamics and land-use impacts. Historically, aquatic-invertebrates productivity and abundance was driven by inter-annual hydrological dynamics because drying periods allow for nutrient cycling and a subsequent pulse of productivity when wet conditions return. We examined aquatic macroinvertebrate abundance during a drying and subsequent rewetting phase.  We focused particularly on amphipod species because of their importance for ducks and they are good indicators of wetland quality.  Our findings suggest that wetland quality has declined and those declines appear not to be attributable to hydrological dynamics of the Prairie-Pothole landscape. This research was a companion study to Interactions of consolidation drainage and climate on water-level dynamics, wetland productivity, and waterbirds, which together help inform the effects of land-use change, climate, and invasive species upon productivity of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region, and their value to migratory ducks.