Restoration of Phragmites dominated wetlands in southern New Jersey has brought about a rapid return of Spartina and other desirable vegetation in a short period. However, little is know of how arthropods intimately associated with the native plant community respond to the return of Spartina. Our data suggest that free-living arthropod communities rapidly recolonize newly established stands of Spartina. Although there are significant differences in both spider and non-spider arthropod assemblages between Phragmites and Spartina habitats, there was little differentiation in these arthropod assemblages between newly re-established Spartina (5 yrs old) and long-standing stands of Spartina ( 5 yrs old). In contrast, there were differences in the abundance and diversity of internally feeding herbivores between recently re-established stands of Spartina and long-standing stands of Spartina. These results suggest that although in general arthropod assemblages of Spartina return rapidly to pre-Phragmites states, some members of the assemblage are slower to recover after Phragmites removal.
Species 1: Graminaceae Poaceae Spartina alterniflora (Salt marsh cord grass)
Species 2: Graminaceae Poaceae Phragmites australis (Common reed)
Keywords: restoration, food web
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