, Volume 549, Issue 1, pp 267–285 | Cite as

Long-Term Changes in the Invertebrates Associated with the Litter of Phragmites australis in a Managed Reedbed

  • Alan P. BedfordEmail author
  • Ian Powell
Primary Research Paper


Faunal changes within a managed bed of the common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin.) were monitored by bi-monthly sampling over 6 years. The reedbed was subject to an annual cycle of summer draw-down and winter reflooding. Water level fluctuations annually result in two distinct communities becoming established, a wet (submersion) community composed of aquatic invertebrates and a dry (exposure) community composed of terrestrial and semi-aquatic taxa. The most numerous family found in the sampling programme was the Chironomidae. Reedbeds are ecotonal wetlands with the fauna being opportunistic resulting principally from range extension of communities in the neighbouring aquatic and terrestrial areas of permanence. Colonization from aquatic refugia following flooding is relatively slow. The alternation annually between the submergence and exposure conditions is highly disruptive and results in low species diversity and a reduction in invertebrate numbers. The high degree of inter-annual variability recorded demonstrates the importance of long-term sampling programmes.


Chironomidae Phragmites reedbed management water level changes wetland invertebrates 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural, Geographical and Applied SciencesEdge Hill College of Higher EducationOrmskirkUK

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