Abstract

Edge effects are the changes that occur at the boundary of two adjacent ecosystems and have long been described in the scientific literature as it regards to forest fragmentation and deforestation. Edge habitats often experience environmental conditions different than those found in the interior of forested ones and these differences have been found to impact the communities which form in these habitats. However, most literature on edge effects focuses on terrestrial systems and leaves a lack of studies into the effects of edge habitats on aquatic systems. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities of two neotropical streams in Campanario, Costa Rica were collected and assessed for differences in community structure between an edge and interior habitat. Greater abundance, taxa richness, and diversity was predicted to be found in the interior stream. Additionally, dissimilarity was predicted to be found in the communities of each habitat. A total of 116 specimens were collected representing 7 orders and 12 families. The interior stream was found have significantly greater abundance, richness, and diversity than the edge stream. Moreover, macroinvertebrate composition between habitats were found to be significantly dissimilar from each other. Additionally, a predominance of the shrimp family Palaemonidae was found in both streams. These results support previous research which suggest that the differences in terrestrial habitats influence aquatic systems too. Further study into the influence of edge effects on streams and other aquatic systems is needed as fragmentation of forested habitats continues due to an increased need for additional agricultural space.

Modified Abstract

Edge effects are the changes that occur at the boundary of two adjacent ecosystems. Literature has focused primarily on terrestrial habitats. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities of two neotropical streams in Campanario, Costa Rica were collected and assessed for differences in community structure between edge and interior habitats. Greater abundance, taxa richness, and diversity were predicted for the interior stream. Additionally, dissimilarity was predicted to be found in the between the two habitats. The interior stream was found to have significantly greater abundance, richness, and diversity. Macroinvertebrate composition between habitats were found to be significantly dissimilar. Further study into the influence of edge effects on streams and other aquatic systems is needed as fragmentation of forested habitats continues due to an increased need for additional agricultural space.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Primary Author's Major

Zoology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Oscar Rocha

Mentor #2 Information

Ms. EmmaLeigh K. Given

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Life Sciences | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

Life on the Edge: Edge Effects of a Coastal Neotropical Forest on Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Edge effects are the changes that occur at the boundary of two adjacent ecosystems and have long been described in the scientific literature as it regards to forest fragmentation and deforestation. Edge habitats often experience environmental conditions different than those found in the interior of forested ones and these differences have been found to impact the communities which form in these habitats. However, most literature on edge effects focuses on terrestrial systems and leaves a lack of studies into the effects of edge habitats on aquatic systems. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities of two neotropical streams in Campanario, Costa Rica were collected and assessed for differences in community structure between an edge and interior habitat. Greater abundance, taxa richness, and diversity was predicted to be found in the interior stream. Additionally, dissimilarity was predicted to be found in the communities of each habitat. A total of 116 specimens were collected representing 7 orders and 12 families. The interior stream was found have significantly greater abundance, richness, and diversity than the edge stream. Moreover, macroinvertebrate composition between habitats were found to be significantly dissimilar from each other. Additionally, a predominance of the shrimp family Palaemonidae was found in both streams. These results support previous research which suggest that the differences in terrestrial habitats influence aquatic systems too. Further study into the influence of edge effects on streams and other aquatic systems is needed as fragmentation of forested habitats continues due to an increased need for additional agricultural space.