Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Potential Impacts of Invasive Elodea canadensis on Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Communities on the Copper River Delta, AK: Comparisons across the Native and Invasive Range
by Piacente, Jennifer, M.S., Loyola University Chicago, 2019, 93; 22623572
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Berg, Martin B.
Commitee: Hoellein, Timothy J., Milanovich, Joseph R.
School: Loyola University Chicago
Department: Biology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 81/8(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Biology
Keywords: Alaska, Elodea, Invasive species, Canadian Waterweed
Publication Number: 22623572
ISBN: 9781658420303
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