Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ciborowski, Jan J.H.

Keywords

Biological sciences, Earth sciences, Arthropod, Boreal, Fen, Marsh, Wetland, Zonation

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Habitat selection determines the environment characteristics experienced by the individual. Arthropod assemblages are better predicted by plant community characteristics than by other environmental features. However, the role of local habitat characteristics (microhabitat structure, food) in regulating invertebrate distribution is less well known. The invertebrate fauna of northeastern Alberta's boreal peatlands and wetlands is especially poorly documented. I investigated invertebrate-vegetation associations of between and within fens and marshes, and variation across wetland hydrological zones. Family richness and biomass were greatest in wet meadow zones of marshes. Sampling instruments used to evaluate microhabitats collected complementary invertebrate types and different abundances. Vacuum sampling captured many phytophilous and soil associated fauna. Sticky traps caught mainly small-bodied, flying insects. Aerial sweep netting caught some large organisms but inadequately represented wetland biota. Overall, invertebrate composition was better predicted by vegetation zone than by hydrological regime or plant species richness within wetlands.

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