JCSET | Watershed Studies Institute Research Symposium

Title

Insect Emergence Patterns on Restored Wetlands Across Western Kentucky

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Wildlife and Conservation Biology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Doctor Michael Flinn; Karen Baumann.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Emergent aquatic insect communities play an important role in wetlands as a food source for riparian consumers and serve as an important wetland function. Our objective was to quantify insect emergence in wetlands restored as part of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). We sampled nine WRP easement sites across western Kentucky in addition to degraded control sites and reference wetlands. Insects were collected from emergence traps (n=4 per site per date) from January 13th to September 17th2021 using an aspirator, preserved in 80% ethanol, measured, and identified to the family. Preliminary results show that communities were dominated by Chironomidae, and relative abundance was 3x higher in restored wetlands and reference wetlands compared to degraded control wetlands even though diversity was similar across site types. This study will provide a greater understanding of insect emergence patterns that can be applied to future studies and help to continue the restoration of our wetlands through a better understanding of the communities they support.

Spring Scholars Week 2022 Event

Watershed Studies Institute Symposium

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Insect Emergence Patterns on Restored Wetlands Across Western Kentucky

Emergent aquatic insect communities play an important role in wetlands as a food source for riparian consumers and serve as an important wetland function. Our objective was to quantify insect emergence in wetlands restored as part of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). We sampled nine WRP easement sites across western Kentucky in addition to degraded control sites and reference wetlands. Insects were collected from emergence traps (n=4 per site per date) from January 13th to September 17th2021 using an aspirator, preserved in 80% ethanol, measured, and identified to the family. Preliminary results show that communities were dominated by Chironomidae, and relative abundance was 3x higher in restored wetlands and reference wetlands compared to degraded control wetlands even though diversity was similar across site types. This study will provide a greater understanding of insect emergence patterns that can be applied to future studies and help to continue the restoration of our wetlands through a better understanding of the communities they support.