Presentation Title

Effects of Wind and Topography on the Distribution of Pond Invertebrate Dormant Stages in Lac du Bois Grasslands Ecological Reserve

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Lac du Bois Grasslands Ecological Reserve is a semi-arid grassland region containing many temporary saline ponds, which are home to freshwater aquatic species such as arthropods, copepods, rotifers, tardigrades, and nematodes. These invertebrates are capable of dormancy, which is an adaptation that allows them to go on a developmental and/or metabolic hiatus to deal with unfavorable environmental changes. When the temporary ponds dry up, dormant stages can be dispersed by strong wind events throughout the landscape outside of the pond bed. These events are known to occur more often in wind exposed sites than in wind sheltered sites. The objective of this study is to determine if dormant stages of flightless pond invertebrates are distributed throughout the landscape of Lac du Bois according to expected patterns of wind dispersal. The specific goals of the project were to (1) see if dormant stages are found in the surface layer of soil throughout the landscape of Lac du Bois, and (2) if dormant stages collect in higher densities in locations where wind speeds slow down due to insufficient lift. This was achieved by collecting surface soil samples at three broadly distributed sites within Lac du Bois, each of which consisted of a wind-exposed and wind-sheltered location. Both sites were similar distances away from the source of dormant stages. Wind speeds were also measured at two of the three sites to ensure the difference in wind speed for exposed and sheltered sites was significantly different. The findings of this study are reviewed here.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Louis Gosselin

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Effects of Wind and Topography on the Distribution of Pond Invertebrate Dormant Stages in Lac du Bois Grasslands Ecological Reserve

Lac du Bois Grasslands Ecological Reserve is a semi-arid grassland region containing many temporary saline ponds, which are home to freshwater aquatic species such as arthropods, copepods, rotifers, tardigrades, and nematodes. These invertebrates are capable of dormancy, which is an adaptation that allows them to go on a developmental and/or metabolic hiatus to deal with unfavorable environmental changes. When the temporary ponds dry up, dormant stages can be dispersed by strong wind events throughout the landscape outside of the pond bed. These events are known to occur more often in wind exposed sites than in wind sheltered sites. The objective of this study is to determine if dormant stages of flightless pond invertebrates are distributed throughout the landscape of Lac du Bois according to expected patterns of wind dispersal. The specific goals of the project were to (1) see if dormant stages are found in the surface layer of soil throughout the landscape of Lac du Bois, and (2) if dormant stages collect in higher densities in locations where wind speeds slow down due to insufficient lift. This was achieved by collecting surface soil samples at three broadly distributed sites within Lac du Bois, each of which consisted of a wind-exposed and wind-sheltered location. Both sites were similar distances away from the source of dormant stages. Wind speeds were also measured at two of the three sites to ensure the difference in wind speed for exposed and sheltered sites was significantly different. The findings of this study are reviewed here.