Project C: Abundance, Biomass, and Secondary Production of Chironomids (Diptera) in Grass-Sedge Marshes and Cypress-Gum Swamps

Chironomids, also called midge larvae.
Chironomids, also called midge larvae. Photo by North American Benthological Society.
Growth chamber for chironomids cultures used in laboratory experiment.

Top: Chironomids, also called midge larvae. Photo (second from top) by North American Benthological Society.

Above: Growth chamber for chironomids cultures used in laboratory experiment.

Below: Putting out growth chambers, containing midge larvae.

Putting out growth chambers, containing midge larvae.

Research Team: Sally Entrekin, Dr. Stephen W. Golladay (Associate Scientist) and D.P. Batzer

We sampled Chironomidae larvae (Diptera) within three cypress-gum swamps and three grass-sedge marshes in Southwest Georgia. These wetlands flood seasonally, and were inundated from November 1998 through April 1999. Chironomid diversity, density, biomass, and secondary production were estimated in all of the wetlands. Chironomid diversity was greatest in the grass-sedge marshes, although the same genera dominated both wetland types. Total biomass ranged from 414 to 1187 (mg AFDM m-2) in cypress-gum swamps and 263 to 1803 (mg AFDM m-2) in the grass-sedge marshes. Abundance of chironomids showed similar patterns of variation as biomass. Production ranged from 459 to 1803 (mg AFDM m-2yr-1) in cypress-gum swamps and 792 to 2791 (mg AFDM m-2yr-1) in grass-sedge marshes. The variation among the wetlands seems to be attributable to an interaction among biotic and abiotic variables including hydroperiod, wetland size, plant community, and water quality.

Additional Information:

Entrekin, S. A. 2000. Abundance, Biomass, and Secondary Production of Chironomids (Diptera) in Grass-Sedge Marshes and Cypress-Gum Swamps. Master of Science, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Entrekin, S. A., S. W. Golladay, and D. P. Batzer. 2001. The Influence of plant community on chironomid secondary production in two wetland types: cypress-gum swamps and grass-sedge marshes. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie 152:369-394.

Funded by: The Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center