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Differences in aquatic communities between wetlands created by an agricultural water recycling system

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Establishment of an agricultural water recycling system known as the wetland reservoir subirrigation system (WRSIS) results in the creation of two different types of wetlands adjacent to agricultural fields. Each WRSIS consists of one treatment wetland designed to process agricultural contaminants (WRSIS wetlands) and one storage wetland for holding subirrigation water (WRSIS reservoirs). Previous WRSIS related research has focused on the filtration ability and development of aquatic plants within WRSIS wetlands. The fauna of the WRSIS reservoirs and how its aquatic community structure compares with WRSIS wetlands is unknown. We compared fish, amphibian, and reptile community structure between WRSIS wetlands and reservoirs in northwestern Ohio. Fishes, amphibians, and reptiles were sampled by seining, hoop netting, and gee minnow trapping in three WRSIS wetlands and three WRSIS reservoirs in June of 2006, 2007, and 2008. No difference in species richness, abundance, percent fish, percent reptiles, fish abundance, or reptile abundance occurred between the smaller shallower WRSIS wetlands and the deeper larger WRSIS reservoirs. Percent amphibians and amphibian abundance was greater in WRSIS wetlands than reservoirs. Jaccard’s index scores ranged from 0 to 0.5 and indicated species composition differed between WRSIS wetlands and reservoirs. Our results assisted with the development of design and management criteria incorporating wetland size, hydrology, and upland habitat intended to enable WRSIS wetlands to function primarily as amphibian habitat and the reservoirs to function as fish habitat.
Peter C. Smiley Jr. , Barry J. Allred
Journal title changed from 'Wetlands Ecol Manage'
Wetlands ecology and management 2011 12 v.19 no.6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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