Invertebrate abundance and food sources within riverine-estuarine systems along the west coast on the island of Newfoundland

Rolls, Wyn (2017) Invertebrate abundance and food sources within riverine-estuarine systems along the west coast on the island of Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Understanding natural patterns and processes underlying the structure and function of biotic communities remains a central aim of ecology. However, there is a paucity of information related to the distribution patterns and community structure of biota that inhabit the transitional zone between rivers and estuaries in boreal estuarine systems. Moreover, the influence of climate change on these patterns is still poorly understood. To better elucidate these patterns this study focused on selected aquatic invertebrates within four boreal riverine-estuarine zones located along a south to north gradient in western Newfoundland, Canada. Samples of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera species were collected from each zone and identified to determine whether there was an expected decrease in number of species with both increasing latitude and increasing salinity. A decrease in the number of species with latitude was not observed. Within riverine-estuarine zones a negative correlation was evident between number of species and salinity. Aquatic insects and one amphipod species were collected from Salmon River and categorized into functional feeding groups. These invertebrates, along with biofilm, particulate organic matter, and various terrestrial and aquatic plants were analyzed for carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen stable isotopes. Hydrogen isotope values were useful as a supplement to carbon in determining sources of energy being utilized by the functional feeding groups. However, the hydrogen isotope values were not distinct between functional groups and therefore, cannot be used in conjunction with nitrogen isotopes to determine trophic levels.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 12880
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Invertebrate, Estuaries, Newfoundland, Salinity
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Environmental Science
Date: October 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Estuarine animals -- Ecology -- Newfoundland, Island of (N.L.); Estuarine animals -- Climatic factors -- Newfoundland, Island of (N.L.)

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