Lewis, B. Utah State University, slrxd@cc.usu.edu
Crowl, T. A. Utah State University, facrowl@cc.usu.edu

 
GOOD TRASH AND BAD TRASH: IS EXOTIC TAMARIX DETRITUS A POORER FOOD AND HABITAT SOURCE FOR AQUATIC INVERTEBRATES THAN IS NATIVE VEGETATION?
 
Riparian vegetation communities throughout the Southwest United States have been extensively invaded by Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) over the past 100 years. The production of Tamarix detritus with associated secondary chemicals may affect the quality of aquatic invertebrate food and habitat resources. In turn, these changes may affect the composition and structure of aquatic invertebrate assemblages. We conducted experiments that contrasted aquatic invertebrate assemblage densities, colonization rates, and growth rates associated with Tamarix versus native vegetation, Populus fremontii (cottonwood) and Salix exigua (willow), to determine if aquatic invertebrate assemblages have been altered by the invasion of Tamarix. Results of invertebrate growth rates over 13 weeks indicated that Tamarix is minimally different in food quality compared to cottonwood and willow detritus. In a 6-week field experiment, there were no differences in invertebrate colonization rates or invertebrate densities associated with Tamarix compared to native vegetation.
 
Day: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Time: 04:30 - 04:45pm
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS21WE0430H