CS39B Zooplankton - Community Dynamics
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Time: 10:30:00 AM
Location: Sidney
 
WalshEJ, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, USA, ewalsh@utep.edu
Wallace, R, L, Ripon College, Ripon, USA, wallacer@ripon.edu
Bonilla, M, L, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, USA, mlbonilla@utep.edu
 
A SPECIES INVENTORY OF THE ROTIFERA OF THE SPRINGS AND EPHEMERAL WATERS OF BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK (TEXAS, USA)
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Human threats to southwestern desert springs are numerous and include development, aquifer depletion and grazing. Invertebrates are at risk but also represent an opportunity to monitor and predict further changes in these systems. Today there is a lack of baseline biotic surveys of these habitats. Big Bend National Park (BBNP) has >200 springs plus an assortment of tinajas, huecos, streams, tanks, and playas. Here we present a preliminary inventory of important basal consumers, the Rotifera, inhabiting waters of BBNP. Samples from plankton, littoral, and benthic habitats from >50 sites were collected on two trips (summer and fall 2001). Twelve families of monogonont rotifers comprising 20 genera and 25 species were identified. Of these taxa, 9%, 15% and 44% of families, genera and species, respectively, were found only in springs. Five species of monogononts as well as several bdelloids need further taxonomic work but are likely new to science. Our work represents the first survey of rotifers from a diverse assortment of desert aquatic habitats and is an important first step for future management initiatives.