Journal Article

Mesocosm and Macrocosm Experiments to Examine Effects of Mowing Emergent Vegetation on Wetland Invertebrates

Ferenc A. De Szalay, Darold P. Batzer and Vincent H. Resh

in Environmental Entomology

Published on behalf of Entomological Society of America

Volume 25, issue 2, pages 303-309
Published in print April 1996 | ISSN: 0046-225X
Published online September 2014 | e-ISSN: 1938-2936 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ee/25.2.303
Mesocosm and Macrocosm Experiments to Examine Effects of Mowing Emergent Vegetation on Wetland Invertebrates

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Although mesocosm experiments are often used as alternatives to larger-scale experimental designs, few studies have compared the results obtained in experiments conducted at different scales. This study compares results of mesocosm and macrocosm experiments examining the responses of aquatic invertebrate communities to mowing of the emergent vegetation. In both experiments, 50% of the vegetation in stands of pickleweed, Salicornia virginica L., was mowed, which created open water and vegetated sections within the mowed treatment areas. Invertebrates were sampled epiphytically and benthically in the open water and vegetated sections in mowed treatment areas and in unmanipulated control areas. Epiphytic and benthic densities of many invertebrates were higher in vegetated sections in mowed treatment areas than in control areas. Epiphytic invertebrate densities in open water sections of mowed treatment areas were always lower than control areas. However, benthic invertebrate densities show a mixed response; densities of some species were lower in open water sections, whereas densities of other species were lower in control areas. Overall epiphytic invertebrate densities in mowed treatment areas (combining vegetated and open water densities) and control densities also showed a mixed response. Overall benthic densities were always higher in mowed treatment areas. The results in both experiments were similar and demonstrate that mesocosm experiments can predict results obtained from larger-scale experiments. Because densities of many invertebrate taxa that are consumed by waterfowl were higher in mowed areas and mosquito densities were lower in these areas, mowing can be a useful management technique in wetland habitats.

Keywords: mosquitoes; aquatic invertebrates; marshes; mesocosm; wetlands

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Entomology

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