Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing the impacts of Lepidium latifoliumon food web structure for Suisun song sparrows in a brackish marsh
by Wigginton, Rachel D., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2012, 111; 1521648
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Whitcraft, Christine
Commitee: Underwood, Dessie
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology
Publication Number: 1521648
ISBN: 978-1-267-79077-4
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