Wetland habitats experience exceptionally high rates of plant invasion despite covering little global surface area. Flora and fauna endemic to wetlands are particularly vulnerable to habitat alterations caused by invasive species. I examined the impacts of non-native Lepidium latifolium (LELA) on invertebrate communities within a brackish marsh (Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve) and linked altered invertebrate composition to food webs of Suisun song sparrows (Melospiza melodia maxillaris) utilizing stable isotope analysis. Soil-dwelling invertebrate abundance was increased by LELA presence in the spring. In the fall and spring LELA shifted the detritivore dominated canopy-dwelling arthropod trophic community to one dominated by predators, and in the summer and winter, LELA impacted arthropod abundance, increasing and decreasing it respectively. LELA impacted Suisun song sparrows most in the bird breeding season (summer). This study shows that LELA is integrated into Suisun song sparrow food webs through direct consumption and by altering food availability.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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