Skip to main content

Effects of Spartina Wrack on Surface-Active Arthropod Assemblage Under Different Environmental Contexts in Southwest Atlantic Salt Marshes

Abstract

Large amounts of tidally accumulated detritus (i.e., wrack) are an important source of disturbance affecting different abiotic and biotic characteristics in salt marshes, which could in turn affect the macrofauna assemblage. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the importance of wrack disturbance in Southwest Atlantic (SWA) salt marshes and its effects on the surface-active arthropod assemblage under different environmental contexts. By sampling the most important SWA salt marshes (from 36° 19′ S to 41° 01′ S), we found that wrack is a widespread disturbance in this region, present in all the salt marshes and periods sampled. However, the biomass and type of wrack (Spartina alterniflora vs. S. densiflora) vary according to the species that dominates each salt marsh. At two of these sites (Bahia Blanca (BB), 38° 59′ S and San Clemente (SC), 36° 19′ S), chosen because they represent the two salt marsh types in the SWA region (dominated by Spartina alterniflora or S. densiflora), we performed a field experiment by manipulating the presence and absence of wrack and conducting field samplings of sediment organic matter content and water content. We found that wrack affects surface arthropod assemblage but that this effect was not consistent for the different salt marshes: in BB, it changed the surface-active arthropod assemblage (shifted towards more detritivorous taxa) and increased the number of total individuals but had no effect on the number of species or diversity. At SC, wrack had no effect on any of the parameters evaluated. We suggest that the type of wrack in each salt marsh modulates the amount of organic matter content in the sediment: BB had wrack of better nutritional quality (dominated by S. alterniflora) and in turn had greater organic matter content in the sediment of wrack zones than in no-wrack zones, while in SC (dominated by S. densiflora), there is no differences between the two zones. We also suggest that depending on the original surface-active arthropod assemblage, those modifications will either favor (BB) or not favor (SC) wrack colonization by the surface-active arthropod assemblage. Moreover, considering that SWA wrack has different compositions and that the biomass differs among the different salt marshes, we expect wrack effects in the SWA, and probably in other regions, to be site-specific.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Adam, P. 1990. Saltmarsh ecology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Bartoń, K. 2015. MuMIn: multi-model inference. R package version 1.15.1.

  • Behbehani, M.I., and R. Croker. 1982. Ecology of beach wrack in northern New England with special reference to Orchestia platensis. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 15: 611–620.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bertness, M.D., and A.M. Ellison. 1987. Determinants of pattern in a New England salt marsh plant community. Ecological Monographs 57: 129–147.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bozinovic, F., D.A. Bastías, F. Boher, S. Clavijo-Baquet, S.A. Estay, and M.J. Angilletta. 2011. The mean and variance of environmental temperature interact to determine physiological tolerance and fitness. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 84: 543–552.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bouchard, V., V. Creach, J.C. Lefeuvre, G. Bertru, and A. Mariotti. 1998. Fate of plant detritus in a European salt marsh dominated by Atriplex portulacoides (L.) Aellen. Hydrobiologia 373 (374): 75–87.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bouchard, V., and J.C. Lefeuvre. 2000. Primary production and macro-detritus dynamics in a European salt marsh: carbon and nitrogen budgets. Aquatic Botany 67: 23–42.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Burnham, K.P., and D.R. Anderson. 2004. Multimodel inference understanding AIC and BIC in model selection. Sociological Methods & Research 33: 261–304.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Canepuccia, A.D., A.A. Farias, A.H. Escalante, O.O. Iribarne, A. Novaro, and J.P. Isacch. 2008. Differential responses of marsh predators to rainfall-induced habitat loss and subsequent variations in prey availability. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86: 407–418.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Canepuccia, A., C. Pérez, J. Farina, D. Alemany, and O. Iribarne. 2013. Dissimilarity in plant species diversity between salt marsh and neighboring environments decreases as environmental harshness increases. Marine Ecology Progress Series 494: 135–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chapman, V.J. 1940. Succession on New England salt marshes. Ecology 21: 279–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cebrian, J., and J. Lartigue. 2004. Patterns of herbivory and decomposition in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Ecological Monographs 74: 237–259.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Colombini, I., A. Aloia, M. Fallaci, G. Pezzoli, and L. Chelazzi. 2000. Temporal and spatial use of stranded wrack by the macrofauna of a tropical sandy beach. Marine Biology 136: 531–541.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Colombini, I., and L. Chelazzi. 2003. Influence of marine allochthonous input on sandy beach communities. Oceanography and Marine Biology. Annual Review 41: 115–159.

    Google Scholar 

  • David, A.T., P.A.L. Goertler, S.H. Munsch, B.R. Jones, C.A. Simenstad, J.D. Toft, J.R. Cordell, E.R. Howe, A. Gray, M.P. Hannam, W. Matsubu, and E.E. Morgan. 2016. Influences of natural and anthropogenic factors and tidal restoration on terrestrial arthropod assemblages in west coast North American estuarine wetlands. Estuaries and Coasts 39: 1491–1504.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ford, H., A. Garbutt, L. Jones, and D.L. Jones. 2013. Grazing management in saltmarsh ecosystems drives invertebrate diversity, abundance and functional group structure. Insect Conservation and Diversity 6: 189–200.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Franklin, A.B., T.M. Shenk, D.R. Anderson, and K.P. Burnham. 2001. Statistical model selection: an alternative to null hypothesis testing. In Modelling in natural resource management: development, interpretation, and application. Washington: Island Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gripenberg, S., and T. Roslin. 2007. Up or down in space? Uniting the bottom-up versus top-down paradigm and spatial ecology. Oikos 116: 181–188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gratton, C., and R.F. Denno. 2006. Arthropod food web restoration following removal of an invasive wetland plant. Ecological Applications 16: 622–631.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hemminga, M.A., and G.J.C. Buth. 1991. Decomposition in salt marsh ecosystems of the S.W. Netherlands: the effects of biotic and abiotic factors. Vegetatio 92: 73–83.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hickenbick, G.R., A.L. Ferro, and P.C. Abreu. 2004. Produção de detrito de macrófitas emergentes em uma marisma do estuário da lagoa Dos Patos: Taxas de decomposição e dinâmica microbiana. Atlântica, Rio Grande 26: 61–75.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hothorn, T., F. Bretz, P. Westfall, R.M. Heiberger. 2008. Multcomp: simultaneous inference in general parametric models R package version 1.0-0. http://CRAN.R-project.org. R package version 1.0–0.

  • Hurley, D.E. 1959. Notes on the ecology and environmental adaptations of the terrestrial amphipoda. PacificScience 13: 107–129.

    Google Scholar 

  • Isacch, J., C. Costa, L. Rodriguez-Gallego, D. Conde, M. Escapa, D. Gagliardini, and O.O. Iribarne. 2006. Distribution of saltmarsh plant communities associated with environmental factors along a latitudinal gradient on the south-west Atlantic coast. Journal of Biogeography 33: 888–900.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jaramillo, E., R. De La Huz, C. Duarte, and H. Contreras. 2006. Algal wrack deposits and macroinfaunal arthropods on sandy beaches of the Chilean coast. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 79: 337–351.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kreeger, D.A., and R.I.E. Newell. 2002. Trophic complexity between producers and invertebrate consumers in salt marshes, in Concepts and controversies in tidal marsh ecology. New York, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Moscow: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Langis, R., M. Zalejko, and J.B. Zedler. 1991. Nitrogen assessments in a constructed and a natural salt marsh of San Diego Bay. Ecological Applications 1: 40–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lastra, M., H.M. Page, J.E. Dugan, D.M. Hubbard, and I.F. Rodil. 2008. Processing of allochthonousmacrophyte subsidies by sandy beach consumers: estimates of feeding rates and impacts on food resources. Marine Biology 154: 163–174.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lemiux, J.P., and S. Lindgren. 1999. A pitfall trap for large scale trapping of Carabidae: Comparison against conventional design, using two different preservatives. Pedobiologia (Jena) 43: 245–253.

    Google Scholar 

  • Levin, S.A. 1992. The problem of pattern and scale in ecology. Ecology 73: 1943–1196.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levin, L.A., C. Neira, and E.D. Grosholz. 2006. Invasive cordgrass modifies wetland trophic function. Ecology 87: 419–432.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, S., and S.C. Pennings. 2016. Disturbance in Georgia salt marshes: variation across space and time. Ecosphere 7. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1487.

  • Mantzouki, E., F. Ysnel, A. Carpentier, and J. Pétillon. 2012. Accuracy of pitfall traps for monitoring populations of the amphipod Orchestia gammarella (Pallas 1766) in saltmarshes. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 113: 314–316.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Montemayor, D.I., M. Addino, E. Fanjul, M. Escapa, M.F. Alvarez, F. Botto, and O.O. Iribarne. 2011. Effect of dominant Spartina species on salt marsh detritus production in SW Atlantic estuaries. Journal of Sea Research 66: 104–110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Montemayor, D.I., A.D. Canepuccia, J. Pascual, and O.O. Iribarne. 2013. Aboveground biomass patterns of dominant Spartina species and their relationship with selected abiotic variables in Argentinean SW Atlantic marshes. Estuaries and Coasts 37: 411–420.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neira, C., L.A. Levin, and E.D. Grosholz. 2005. Benthic macrofaunal communities of three sites in San Francisco Bay invaded by hybrid Spartina, with comparison to uninvaded habitats. Marine Ecology Progress Series 292: 111–126.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Neira, C., E.D. Grosholz, L.A. Levin, and R. Blake. 2006. Mechanisms generating modification of benthos following tidal flat invasion by a Spartina hybrid. Ecological Applications 16: 1391–1404.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neira, C., L.A. Levin, E.D. Grosholz, and Æ.G. Mendoza. 2007. Influence of invasive Spartina growth stages on associated macrofaunal communities. Biological Invasions 9: 975–993.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Netto, S.A., and P.C. Lana. 1999. The role of above- and below-ground components of Spartina alterniflora (Loisel) and detritus biomass in structuring macrobenthic associations of Paranaguá Bay (SE, Brazil). Hydrobiologia 400: 167–177.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pennings, S.C., and C.I. Richards. 1998. Effects of wrack burial in salt-stressed habitats: Batis maritima in a southwest Atlantic salt marsh. Ecography 21: 630–638.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • R Development Core Team. 2005. R: A language and environment for statistical computing, reference index version 2.2.1. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org.

  • Rodil, I.F., C. Olabarria, M. Lastra, and J. López. 2008. Differential effects of native and invasive algal wrack on macrofaunal assemblages inhabiting exposed sandy beaches. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 358: 1–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ruiz-Delgado, M.C., J.V. Vieira, V.G. Veloso, M.J. Reyes-Martínez, I.A. Sallorenzo, C.A. Borzone, J.E. Sánchez-Moyano, and F.J. García. 2014. The role of wrack deposits for supralittoral arthropods: an example using Atlantic sandy beaches of Brazil and Spain. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 136: 61–71.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schrama, M., L.A. Van Boheemen, H. Olff, and M.P. Berg. 2015. How the litter-feeding bioturbator Orchestia gammarellus promotes late-successional saltmarsh vegetation. Journal of Ecology 103: 915–924.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tang, M., and E. Kristensen. 2010. Associations between macrobenthos and invasive cordgrass, Spartina anglica, in the Danish Wadden Sea. Helgoland Marine Research 64: 321–329.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Valiela, I., and C.S. Rietsma. 1995. Disturbance of salt marsh vegetation by wrack mats in Great Sippewissett Marsh. Ecology 102: 106–112.

    Google Scholar 

  • Warburg, M.R. 1987. Isopods and their terrestrial environment. Advances in Ecological Research 17: 187–242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watson, E.B., C. Wigand, A.J. Oczkowski, K. Sundberg, D. Vendettuoli, S. Jayaraman, K. Saliba, and J.T. Morris. 2015. Ulva additions alter soil biogeochemistry and negatively impact Spartina alterniflora growth. Marine Ecological Progress Series 532: 59–72.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zuur, A.F., E.N. Ieno, N.J. Walker, A.A. Saveliev, and G. Smith. 2009. Mixed effects models and extensions in ecology with R. New York: Springer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank Mauricio Escapa and Betina Lomovasky for field assistance. This is part of D.M.’s doctoral thesis. Finally, we would like to thank two anonymous reviewers and the associate editor Charles T. Roman for valuable suggestions on the manuscript.

Funding

This project was supported by grants from the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, CONICET, and ANPCyT (all to O.I.) and D.M., M.A, M.V. by a grant from CONICET (Argentina).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Diana I. Montemayor.

Additional information

Communicated by Charles T. Roman

Appendices

Appendix 1

Table 3 Linear mixed-effect model selection for relative abundance of plant species detritus and wrack biomass in San Clemente and Bahía Blanca. Number of parameters (N° pari), Akaike’s information criterion (AICi), Akaike differences (Δi), and normalized weights of AIC (wi). The best models are in italics
Table 4 PERMANOVA results for macrofauna assemblage for the taxonomic level Order (1) and for the taxonomic level Species (2)
Table 5 Linear mixed-effect model selection for the taxonomic level Order (1) and for the taxonomic level Species (2): S (number of taxa), N (number of individuals), and H (Shannon diversity index). Number of parameters (N° pari), Akaike's information criterion (AICi), Akaike differences (Δi), and normalized weights of AIC (wi). Z: zone; S: salt marsh; and S:Z: the interaction of those two factors. The best models are in italics
Table 6 Water content and organic matter content generalized least squares (GLS) models with the structured variances and Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) values. The model with the variance in italics was the best one

Appendix 2

Table 7 List of taxa for Order level

Appendix 3

Table 8 List of taxa for Species level

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Montemayor, D.I., Canepuccia, A.D., Farina, J. et al. Effects of Spartina Wrack on Surface-Active Arthropod Assemblage Under Different Environmental Contexts in Southwest Atlantic Salt Marshes. Estuaries and Coasts 42, 1104–1126 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-018-00509-7

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-018-00509-7

Keywords

  • Salt marsh
  • Wrack disturbance
  • Surface-active arthropod assemblage
  • Environmental context