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Spatial distribution of resting stages of crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates in playa wetlands

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Crustaceans in temporary wetlands have resting stages that allow them to persist in the soil during dry phases. We examined the spatial distribution of viable resting stages of invertebrates in the soil of playa wetlands. We took soil cores near the center and near the edge of the playas and in the surrounding upland of the dry playas. We then rehydrated the soil cores for two weeks. We found higher abundance and taxa richness, and a different taxonomic composition in the playa center than in the upland. Invertebrate abundance and taxa richness were intermediate at the wetland edge and taxonomic composition overlapped with that from the center and edge. Crustaceans (tadpole shrimps and calanoid copepods) were more abundant in the wetland center than from the edge or upland. Environmental factors and invertebrate behavior may play a role in organizing the spatial distribution of aestivating stages of aquatic invertebrates.

Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, Oklahoma Biological Survey, University of Oklahoma, 111 E Chesapeake St., Norman, OK 73019, USA


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