Comparison of Odonata Populations in Natural and Constructed Emergent Wetlands in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky

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Encompass Digital Archive: Honors Theses

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Brookshire, Brittany Ann, Miss
Encompass Digital Archive, Eastern Kentucky University
Odonata; Wetlands; Diversity; Richness; Conservation
thesis / dissertation description
With the degradation and destruction of many natural wetlands in Kentucky, there are high incentives to look at the remaining natural wetlands and the new artificial wetlands that are beginning to become prevalent among biologists. Wetlands are important to dragonfly populations just as dragonflies are vital to wetland function. In my study I looked at the fluctuation in Odonata (dragonfly and damselfly) populations at ten artificial wetlands and ten natural wetlands in the Inner Bluegrass region of Kentucky. In my study the dragonfly populations were monitored based on Shannon and Simpson's diversity, Species richness, and number of individual and species numbers. The wetlands were also compared on a season to season basis and the health of the wetlands were considered using a rapid assessment method. My research found that the artificial wetlands, though they scored low on the rapid assessment method, scored high in all categories except for species richness in the fall season of data collection. This study can be important in discovering the differences between natural and artificial wetlands, since Odonates are such an important biological indicator of wetland health and function. This could be vital in increasing the health of remaining natural wetlands and new artificial wetlands that are being created to supplement the lack of many of Kentucky's natural wetlands.