Trophic structure of Ozark cave streams containing endangered species
Six subterranean stream habitats in the central USA that contain rare and endangered cave animals were investigated. Water, sediment, and animal tissue were sampled to determine the degree of pollution inputs, and natural abundance stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses were employed to determine trophic structure and hypothetical influence of nutrient pollutants. Environmental quality sampling revealed contamination of water, sediments, and animal tissue by nutrients, toxic metals, and coliform bacteria, originating probably from septic systems and land application of animal feedlot wastes. Stable isotope analyses did not detect nutrient pollutants in the food webs of these habitats, but these analyses did elucidate trophic structure. Three trophic levels are evident in these subterranean streams: a detrital food base of clastic sediment, bat guano, and surface inputs; a second trophic level of detritivores, primarily crustaceans and amphibians; and a top level of predators, primarily fishes. Monitoring and management of sediment quality and flux is recommended to protect subterranean stream habitats.
Bibliogr. 14 poz., tab., wykr.
- 1. Adamski J., 1997, Nutrients and pesticides in ground water of the Ozark Plateaus in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, U.S. Geological Survey Water Resource Investigations Report #96-4313.
- 2. Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, 1998, Regulation 2, as amended: Regulation establishing water quality standards for surface waters of the state of Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas.
- 3. Culver D. C., 1985, Trophic relationships in aquatic cave environments, Stygologia, 1(1), 43-53.
- 4. Culver D. C., 1994, Species interactions, [in:] Groundwater ecology, Academic Press, San Diego, California, 271-286.
- 5. DeNiro M., Epstein S., 1981, Influence of diet on the distribution of nitrogen isotopes in animals, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 45, 341-351.
- 6. Dickson G., 1975, A preliminary study of heterotrophic microorganisms as factors in substrate selection of troglobitic invertebrates, National Speleological Society Bulletin, 37(4), 89-93.
- 7. Fenolio D. B., Graening G. O., Stout J., Seasonal Movement Pattern of Pickerel Frogs (Rana palustrisj through an Ozark Cave and Trophic Implications Supported by Stable Isotope Evidence, Southwestern Naturalist, in press.
- 8. Graening G. O., Brown A. V., 2003, Ecosystem dynamics of an Ozark cave stream, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 39(6), 1497-1507.
- 9. Graening, G. O., Slay M. E., Brown A. V., Subterranean Biodiversity of Arkansas, Part 4: Status Update of the Endangered Benton Cave Crayfish, Cambarus aculabrum (Decapoda: Cambaridae), Southwestern Naturalist, in review.
- 10. Kwak Т., 1999, Animal waste nutrient dynamics in the stream food web: evaluation of multiple stable isotopes for detection, Final Report to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas, 27 pp.
- 11. MacDonald H., Jeffus H., Steele K., Kerr Т., Wagner G., 1976, Groundwater pollution in Northwestern Arkansas, Special Report 25, Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
- 12. McKinney C., McCrea J., Epstein S., Allen H., Urey H., 1950, Improvements in mass spectrometers for the measurement of small differences in isotope abundance ratios, Review of Scientific Instruments, 21, 724-730.
- 13. Peterson B., Fry B., 1987, Stable isotopes in ecosystem studies, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 18, 293-320.
- 14. Steele K. 1985, Groundwater in northwest Arkansas, Arkansas Naturalist, 3(7), 5-10.