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Sustainment of epiphytic microinvertebrate assemblage in relation with different aquatic plant microhabitats in freshwater wetlands (South Korea)

Jong-Yun Choi, Kwang-Seuk Jeong, Geung-Hwan La, Seong-Ki Kim, Gea-Jae Joo
  • Jong-Yun Choi
    Pusan National University, Korea, Republic of
  • Kwang-Seuk Jeong
    Pusan National University, Korea, Republic of
  • Geung-Hwan La
    Suncheon National University, Korea, Republic of
  • Seong-Ki Kim
    Pusan National University, Korea, Republic of

Abstract

In general, aquatic plants in shallow wetlands provide critical habitat and refuge for epiphytic microinvertebrates. We hypothesised that the density and diversity of epiphytic microinvertebrates would differ based on different types of aquatic plant species. We collected epiphytic microinvertebrate samples on the surfaces (stems and leaves) of diverse aquatic plant species at 2 shallow wetlands (Upo and Jangcheok, South Korea) from May to June 2011. The species diversity of epiphytic microinvertebrates tended to increase as the number of aquatic plant species increased. The highest epiphytic microinvertebrate density was found on elodeid and pleustophyte species, and a relatively low microinvertebrate density was found on helophyte and nymphaeid species. The results indicate that epiphytic microinvertebrates preferred elodeid and pleustophyte species over other plant types, because they support larger habitat spaces (i.e., area of substrate) for foraging activity and predation inhibition. On the basis of the results, we recommend establishing diverse aquatic plant communities when wetlands are restored or created to assure high diversity of species that use aquatic plants as their habitat.

Keywords

aquatic plants types, β-diversity, shallow freshwater wetlands, epiphytic microinvertebrates, microhabitat, littoral zone

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Submitted: 2013-03-18 11:57:38
Published: 2014-02-21 14:35:56
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Copyright (c) 2014 Jong-Yun Choi, Kwang-Seuk Jeong, Geung-Hwan La, Seong-Ki Kim, Gea-Jae Joo

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