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The Great Lakes support many fish and waterbirds that depend directly or indirectly on coastal wetlands during some portion of their life cycle. It is known that macroinvertebrates make up an important part of wetland food webs and ecosystem function; however, our understanding of species distribution within and among wetlands has only recently received attention. We investigated the macroinvertebrates of a freshwater marsh (Prentiss Bay) in the Les Chenaux Island Area of Northern Lake Huron, Michigan. Macroinvertebrate taxa diversity and functional feeding group composition were compared between two habitats. A shallow depositional habitat with higher vegetation diversity and little wave action was compared to a deeper erosional habitat with fewer plant species and more wave action. A total of 83 taxa were collected over the summer of 1996, representing two phyla (Arthropoda and Mollusca) and five classes (Arachnida, Bivalvia, Malacostraca, Gastropoda and Insecta). A total of 79 genera were identified, with 92% being insects (39 families composed of at least 73 genera). Of the total, 42 insect genera were common to both habitats,while relatively fewer were collected exclusively from the erosional compared the depositional habitat. When habitats were pooled, predators comprised about 50% of the functional group taxa, while gathering collectors and shredders each were about 20%. Filtering collectors and scrapers each represented < 10%. When comparing habitats, there was a relatively higher percentage of predators and shredders in the depositional habitat, while all other functional groups were lower. These data suggest that vegetation diversity, depth and wave action affect taxa composition and functional group organization of the Prentiss Bay marsh.
Additional Publication Details
Wetland macroinvertebrates of Prentiss Bay, Lake Huron, Michigan: diversity and functional group composition