During a severe drought period in the winter and spring of 1989, we made three collections of dried marsh soils from freshwater sloughs in Everglades National Park, Florida, at sites characterized by either long or intermediate annual periods of flooding (hydroperiod). After rehydrating the soils in aquaria, we documented the temporal patterns of copepod emergence over two-week periods. The species richness of copepods in the rehydrated soils was lower than in pre-drought samples from the same slough sites. Only six of the 16 species recorded from the Everglades emerged in the aquarium tests. The long hydroperiod site had a slightly different assemblage and higher numbers of most species than the intermediate-hydroperiod sites. More individuals and species emerged from the early dry-season samples compared with samples taken later in the dry season. The harpacticoid, Cletocamptus deitersi, and the cyclopoid, Microcyclops rubellus, were abundant at most sites. The cyclopoids - Ectocyclops phaleratus, Homocyclops ater, and Paracyclops chiltoni - are new records for the Everglades. We infer that 1) only a subset of Everglades copepod species can survive drought by resting in soils; and that 2) survival ability over time differs by species.
Additional Publication Details
Copepod (Crustacea) emergence from soils from everglades marshes with different hydroperiods