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The effects of salinity on the ecology of a coastal temporary pond (Data)

Citation

Campbell, Gavin; Hyslop, Eric (2020), The effects of salinity on the ecology of a coastal temporary pond (Data), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hhmgqnkdz

Abstract

Temporary waters are relatively understudied environments, particularly within the Caribbean. Regionally understudied as well are the insect fauna associated with coastal environments. The present study sought to identify factors affecting the salinity of a coastal temporary pond and the subsequent ecological interactions. When water was present, the aquatic physical and chemical properties were recorded, and macroinvertebrate fauna were collected. Soil and water were collected for analyses and associations between the aquatic environment and fauna detailed. Fauna collected overall represented 6 orders, 11 families, 14 genera and 18 species throughout 4 salinity phases, ranging from freshwater to hypersaline. The hypersaline phase was distinct from other phases, notably in salinity (maximum 78 parts per thousand) and water temperature (maximum 41°C). In general, species richness and number of functional feeding groups were lower at higher salinities. The brackish phase however, had greater species richness and more functional feeding groups than the freshwater phase. This was explained in part by the elimination of notonectid predators in the brackish phase, which facilitated the establishment of several culicid species within the pond. The salt-tolerant corixid Trichocorixa reticulata was found dominating the pond in the saline phase and was the only species alive in the hypersaline phase. This salinity of the pond was determined by both tides and rainfall, changing aquatic conditions accordingly. As salinity increased, beyond the brackish phase macroinvertebrate species richness decreased. A change in species richness saw a change in community composition and functional feeding diversity within a coastal temporary pond dominated by insects.

Funding

Graduate Studies and Research, University of the West Indies

Graduate Studies and Research, University of the West Indies