Relative Abundances and Distribution of Biomass within the Fish and Macroinvertebrate Communities of the Florida Everglades
Slack, Sarah J.
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Although the Florida Everglades has received an extensive amount of public attention lately as changes in water influx rate and nutrient enrichment threaten to upset the balance of the ecosystem, relatively little is known about interactions within the fish and macroinvertebrate communities. These communities support the trophic web of the ecosystem and play an essential role in the maintenance of system structure. This study attempts to characterize a subset of these populations in order to better predict their exact role in the ecosystem as well as the response in these communities to continued alterations in physical and chemical characteristics of their environment. Throw trapping was done in the wet prairies to sample the animal community and gain an idea of biomass and relative species abundance. These estimations of relative abundance and biomass were used to describe community structure. Changes in average abundance and biomass were found to occur both spatially and temporally and overall animal biomass of the Everglades was found to be low in comparison to other aquatic systems. Further study is needed before a comprehensive description of the ecosystem can be made.