Event Title

Response of Invertebrate Assemblages to Phragmites Australis Invasion and Native Plant Revegetation in Great Salt Lake Wetlands

Presenter Information

Emily Leonard

Location

Logan Golf & Country Club, Logan, UT

Start Date

3-26-2019 5:00 PM

End Date

3-26-2019 7:00 PM

Description

An invasive grass, Phragmites australis (common reed), is rapidly invading wetlands surrounding the Great Salt Lake in Utah, outcompeting native vegetation, and substantially altering critical habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Although the removal of Phragmites can help restore native vegetation, additional factors, such as food resource availability, contribute to bird habitat quality. Specifically, invertebrates provide an important food source for many bird species, yet how Phragmites may be altering invertebrate assemblages is unclear. This project addresses three primary objectives to fill these knowledge gaps: 1) examine how invertebrate assemblages respond to Phragmites invasion 2) identify if Phragmites removal and the reestablishment of native vegetation can restore invertebrate species composition, biomass, and diversity within previously invaded wetlands and 3) estimate the role of different restoration techniques in determining invertebrate recovery success. To accomplish these objectives, we are examining the invertebrate assemblages associated with dominant native wetland vegetation types, areas invaded by Phragmites, and active restoration sites using a combination of emergence and flight-intercept traps. Our results indicate that there may be specific habitat types that are more valuable to developing aquatic insect larvae than other areas. Furthermore, our samples also suggest a difference in terrestrial invertebrate activity between Phragmites and native vegetation areas. Recognizing how invertebrates interact with Phragmites and native vegetation is a critical component of understanding how to restore these wetland habitats for birds. By gaining a better understanding of these relationships, invertebrate assemblage composition could serve as a potential assessment metric for determining wetland restoration success.

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Mar 26th, 5:00 PM Mar 26th, 7:00 PM

Response of Invertebrate Assemblages to Phragmites Australis Invasion and Native Plant Revegetation in Great Salt Lake Wetlands

Logan Golf & Country Club, Logan, UT

An invasive grass, Phragmites australis (common reed), is rapidly invading wetlands surrounding the Great Salt Lake in Utah, outcompeting native vegetation, and substantially altering critical habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Although the removal of Phragmites can help restore native vegetation, additional factors, such as food resource availability, contribute to bird habitat quality. Specifically, invertebrates provide an important food source for many bird species, yet how Phragmites may be altering invertebrate assemblages is unclear. This project addresses three primary objectives to fill these knowledge gaps: 1) examine how invertebrate assemblages respond to Phragmites invasion 2) identify if Phragmites removal and the reestablishment of native vegetation can restore invertebrate species composition, biomass, and diversity within previously invaded wetlands and 3) estimate the role of different restoration techniques in determining invertebrate recovery success. To accomplish these objectives, we are examining the invertebrate assemblages associated with dominant native wetland vegetation types, areas invaded by Phragmites, and active restoration sites using a combination of emergence and flight-intercept traps. Our results indicate that there may be specific habitat types that are more valuable to developing aquatic insect larvae than other areas. Furthermore, our samples also suggest a difference in terrestrial invertebrate activity between Phragmites and native vegetation areas. Recognizing how invertebrates interact with Phragmites and native vegetation is a critical component of understanding how to restore these wetland habitats for birds. By gaining a better understanding of these relationships, invertebrate assemblage composition could serve as a potential assessment metric for determining wetland restoration success.