Salt marshes are valuable ecosystems that not only support high levels of biodiversity, but also provide important ecosystem benefits. Unfortunately, many marshes have been lost due to land development and rising sea levels, and the isolated fragments that remain have been degraded by factors such as pollution. Since taxonomic richness can indicate the general health of an ecosystem, measurements of arthropod biodiversity could be used to gage the health of salt marsh ecosystems. Understanding the composition of arthropod communities and how these community structures shift over time could also allow for the selection of indicator species to monitor heavy metal pollution. Sweep net, beat sheet and pitfall trap sampling was performed in the Long Island South Shore Estuary to measure arthropod biodiversity and determine how the arthropod community structure changes over the course of the summer season. The arthropod communities were found to be similar across the three marshes, though Oceanside had the highest biodiversity in terms of taxonomic richness and community structure. There were significant differences in arthropod richness, abundance and biological diversity over the four months of sampling. Arthropod communities became more uneven and less biologically diverse as sampling continued from June to September. This should be taken into account when selecting possible indicator species and preparing for the future monitoring of these ecosystems.
|Commitee:||Freeman, Aaren, Russell, George|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||MAI 53/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Entomology, Zoology|
|Keywords:||Arthropod, Community structure, Long Island South Shore Estuary, New York, Salt marsh, Seasonal changes|
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