Assessment and Monitoring of Floodplain Communities in Coastal Plains during Flooding and Dry-Down (Altamaha River Basin, GA)

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Little is known about macroinvertebrate communities of floodplain systems in the Southeastern Coastal Plains. In 2011 southeast Georgia experienced severe to extreme drought. Changes in timing, duration, and intensity of flood pulses may result in detrimental impacts to floodplain systems that are not yet known. Due to the vast ecosystem services offered by floodplain systems, it is important to understand the functioning and structure of their consumer communities during normal and abnormal hydrologic regimes. In order to quantify the major energetic pathways in these systems we sampled benthic macroinvertebrates and organic matter standing stocks monthly during the 2011-12 flood pulse at the Moody Forest Natural Area near Baxley, GA. Moody Forest is a protected area of 4,400 acres that contains 2 miles of the Altamaha River and adjoining floodplain. Macroinvertebrate communities were characterized by 84.6% collector-gatherers; 11.9% predators; 2.5% scrapers and 0.85% filterers. The goal of the project is to implement long-term ecological monitoring sites in order to further investigate the interplay between aquatic and terrestrial linkages as well as shifts in food web dynamic during flooding and drought.


Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting (SFS)


Louisville, KY