Submitted to: Ohio Journal of Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2008
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Citation: Smiley, P.C., Allred, B.J. 2008. Influence of wetland size on aquatic communities within wetland reservoir subirrigation systems in northwestern Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science. 108:A-17 Technical Abstract: Establishment of a water management system known as the wetland-reservoir subirrigation system (WRSIS) results in the creation of wetlands adjacent to agricultural fields. Specifically, each WRSIS consists of one wetland designed to process agricultural chemicals (WRSIS wetlands) and one wetland to store subirrigation water (WRSIS reservoirs). Previous research within three WRSIS constructed in the Maumee River watershed in northwestern Ohio has examined plants and aquatic animals in WRSIS wetlands, but not WRSIS reservoirs. The hypothesis of this study was that the larger, deeper WRSIS reservoirs would have different vertebrate communities than the smaller, shallower WRSIS wetlands. Fishes, amphibians, and reptiles were sampled by seining, hoop netting, and gee minnow trapping in three WRSIS wetlands and three WRSIS reservoirs in the summer of 2006 and 2007. A blocked two factor ANOVA coupled with the SNK test was used to determine if differences in community structure occurred between wetland types and years. No difference in species richness or abundance occurred between WRSIS wetlands and reservoirs, but amphibian relative abundance was greater in WRSIS wetlands than reservoirs (n = 6, p < 0.05). Jaccard’s similarity index scores ranged from 0 to 0.5 and indicated species composition was different between WRSIS wetlands and reservoirs. No difference in species richness or amphibian relative abundance occurred among years, but abundance was greater in 2006 than 2007 (n = 6, p < 0.05). Our results suggest that WRSIS may benefit wetland dependent vertebrates through the creation of different sized wetlands within agricultural watersheds.