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Effects of the exotic macrophyte, para grass (Urochloa mutica), on benthic and epiphytic macroinvertebrates of a tropical floodplain

Douglas, Michael M. and O'Connor, Ruth A. (2003). Effects of the exotic macrophyte, para grass (Urochloa mutica), on benthic and epiphytic macroinvertebrates of a tropical floodplain. Freshwater Biology,48(6):962-971.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Effects of the exotic macrophyte, para grass (Urochloa mutica), on benthic and epiphytic macroinvertebrates of a tropical floodplain
Author Douglas, Michael M.
O'Connor, Ruth A.
Journal Name Freshwater Biology
Publication Date 2003
Volume Number 48
Issue Number 6
ISSN 1365-2427   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0037671443
Start Page 962
End Page 971
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Science
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
0608 - Zoology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract 1. We examined the effect of the exotic macrophyte, para grass (Urochloa mutica), on benthic and epiphytic macroinvertebrates of a tropical floodplain in northern Australia. Macroinvertebrates were sampled from four grass communities: (1) para grass, (2) hymenachne (Hymenachne acutigluma), a native perennial; (3) rice (Oryza meridionalis), a native annual, and (4) areas where para grass had been sprayed with herbicide. 2. Macroinvertebrate richness, abundance and community similarity showed very few differences among the grass communities, particularly in the epiphytic habitat. Benthic invertebrates showed some differences among grasses, with lower richness and abundance and different community structure associated with hymenachne. Herbicide control of para grass had no apparent effect on benthic invertebrates but reduced the abundance of epiphytic invertebrates in the short term. 3. The results of this study indicate that para grass has very little impact on macroinvertebrate communities, despite the changes to macrophyte communities. This is probably because para grass has similar physical structure to the native grasses and because none of these grasses contribute directly to aquatic food webs. Control of para grass using herbicide has little impact on aquatic invertebrates. This suggests that predicting the impact of weed invasion in wetlands requires an understanding of both the functional properties of macrophytes and the habitat preferences of the macroinvertebrates.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2427.2003.01072.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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