Invasive species are a global concern impacting biodiversity, community structure, and ecological function of entire ecosystems. Elodea canadensis (Canadian Waterweed) is a submerged aquatic macrophyte native to the lower 48 states but invasive in Alaska. The purpose of our study was to (1) assess macroinvertebrate community structure and quantify secondary production of aquatic insects associated with invasive E. canadensis and native macrophytes on the Copper River Delta, Alaska and (2) compare aquatic macroinvertebrate communities associated with E. canadensis in native (Illinois) and invasive (Alaska) areas. Density and diversity of macroinvertebrates and secondary production of aquatic insects were higher in native macrophyte beds than in E. canadensis beds of coastal uplifted marsh ponds. Functional feeding group community structure of E. canadensis-associated macroinvertebrates was different in the invasive and native range. Collector-filterer relative abundance was higher in the invasive range, whereas predator-engulfer relative abundance was higher in the native range. Furthermore, shredder-herbivore density in E. canadensis beds was higher in the native range than in the invasive range. Our results suggest that the successful establishment of E. canadensis in Alaska is likely facilitated by reduced herbivory and that the continued spread of E. canadensis will alter ecosystem structure and function of the Copper River Delta and the ecosystem services it provides.
|Advisor:||Berg, Martin B.|
|Commitee:||Hoellein, Timothy J., Milanovich, Joseph R.|
|School:||Loyola University Chicago|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 81/8(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Alaska, Elodea, Invasive species, Canadian Waterweed|
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