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The effects of climate change on insects in the United States have yet to be fully understood. Research on the insect populations of Lake Michigan’s interdunal wetlands has been particularly limited. As these vibrant habitats are already at risk of destruction due to increased development, it is vital to have a working knowledge of the species that are living in the habitat. However, to date, there have been no studies on assemblages of interdunal wetlands in Michigan. Examining community compositions is critical to understanding the ecological problems that could occur in the future. This study is the first to look at Odonata diversity in an interdunal wetland in Michigan. The research, done at Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area on populations of Odonate species, provides a base-level of awareness about which species are living and breeding in this wetland habitat. The written record of the specific species observed in the area as adult Odonates contributes to the Michigan Odonata Survey. This survey helps scientists better understand what Odonates are living in and migrating to Michigan. Species with complex life cycles, such as Odonata, are important to both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. As these populations experience changes in the future, this research will provide crucial data on which species change their habitats. Examining the richness, diversity, and evenness of adult and larval Odonata provides a better view of the species living in wetland habitats. Odonates are an important food source for many other species living in these wetlands. Alterations to the complex food web within a wetland can have cascading effects on many species that live in the habitat. Incorporating the information gained from this study into future studies of the same wetland area will increase awareness about the effects of climate change on interdunal wetlands in the Great Lakes region.
Volz, Devon, "Biodiversity of Larval and Adult Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) of Interdunal Wetlands at Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area" (2017). Honors Theses. 2924.
Honors Thesis-Open Access