Monitoring Aquatic Invertebrate Biodiversity of Restored Coastal Wetlands

Authors and Presenters: Gwendolyn Richardson (email: (262) 379-0499/address: W4731 Remer Road, Elkhorn, Wisconsin 53121) Eli Cortez (email: (262) 994-5330/address: 1907 5 Mile Road, Racine Wisconsin 53402) Hannah White (email: (414) 333-9309/address: W265S8620 Rustic View Lane, Mukwonago, WI 53149) Student Co-Authors: Katherine Loesl-Dunk Faculty Mentor: Jessica Orlofske ( Institution: University of Wisconsin-Parkside 900 Wood Road Kenosha, WI 53141-2000 Department: Department of Biological Sciences

Aquatic invertebrates contribute to key environmental processes such as nutrient cycling and water purification. Aquatic invertebrates also sustain organisms occupying higher trophic levels through the food web. Thus, an examination of aquatic invertebrates can provide insight into the ecological condition of the ecosystem. Evaluating the health of wetland ecosystems has become critically important in recent years with land development, pollution, climate change, and other anthropocentric pressures threatening these valuable habitats. For this reason, urban wetland complexes, such as Samuel Myers Park (SMP) and North Beach Park (NBP) located on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Racine, Wisconsin, have been restored to improve fundamental ecosystem functions and ensure wetland integrity. In this study, we used aquatic macroinvertebrates as bioindicators of the ecological condition for these wetland ecosystems. We collected quantitative dip net samples of invertebrates and complementary water quality data (pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity) with a multiparameter probe at one natural and two constructed wetlands located at SMP twice during the summer of 2018, 2019, and 2020. Similar sampling was performed at the man-made, nine-chambered wetland and stormwater retention pond at NBP during the summer of 2019 and 2020. Invertebrate samples were preserved in 70% ethanol and processed in the laboratory using a dissecting microscope. Invertebrates were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible, and the abundance was recorded. We observed an increase in invertebrate taxa richness and diversity for all wetlands sampled between 2018-2019. We anticipate a further increase in diversity and abundance of sensitive invertebrate taxa as colonization of the restored wetlands continues. Additional sampling will assist with long-term management of these critical coastal wetlands. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Gwendolyn Richardson, Eli Cortez, Hannah White

Institution: University of Wisconsin - Parkside

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 3
Date/Time: Mon 4:30pm-5:30pm
Session Number: 3161