Invertebrate communities of reclaimed and undisturbed Atlantic Rim gas well pads

Monday, November 17, 2014: 8:12 AM
F150 (Oregon Convention Center)
Megan Wilson , University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Reclamation of oil and gas well pads in the western United States has historically been focused on the re-vegetation of disturbed sites.  This includes seeding with native and alien plants, especially grasses.  However, little study has been directed towards how different reclamation practices affect invertebrate communities.  Understanding how invertebrate communities interact within food webs in reclaimed sites is relatively unstudied, although it has important ecological implications and must be implemented to reclaim disturbed land fully. We have collected insect specimens from reclaimed and undisturbed coal bed methane well pads in the Atlantic Rim, Washakie Basin, Wyoming, to compare how reclamation practices are affecting invertebrate communities.  The vegetation composition was also monitored, as alien plant species have often been shown to suppress invertebrate communities which may lead to detrimental effects on higher trophic levels.