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Harvard Forest Data Archive


Ecology and Biogeography of a Northern Caddisfly in Cape Cod MA 1996-2002

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  • Lead: Elizabeth Colburn, Frances Garretson
  • Investigators:
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date: 1996
  • End date: 2002
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Cape Cod MA
  • Latitude: +43.85
  • Longitude: -69.96
  • Elevation: 0 to 6 meter
  • Taxa: Phanocelia canadensis
  • Release date: 2006
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.93.18
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: regional studies; watershed ecology
  • LTER core area: populations
  • Keywords: biogeography, conservation, habitats, insects, life history
  • Abstract:

    We have documented a large population of a rarely collected northern caddisfly, Phanocelia canadensis (Banks) (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae), on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This species' range is generally considered to be centered in northern Canada, although there are individual records of adults from eastern Maine and New Hampshire, and a single adult was collected from Sherborn, Massachusetts, in the 1920s. The scarcity of this species in collections may reflect true rarity, with populations sparsely but widely distributed across the northern part of the continent. Alternately, it may reflect a sampling bias, in that the larvae of this species were unknown until the late 1980s, adults are diurnal and fly late in the fall, and larvae occur in wetlands and are closely associated with Sphagnum, from which they make their cases. We have carried out an in-depth habitat comparison of sites in which we found or did not find larvae on Cape Cod in seven years of intensive sampling. Habitat characteristics distinguishing wetlands with and without Phanocelia include dominance by Sphagnum sp., shrub cover, and low pH. We are currently searching in similar habitats across the state for additional populations.

  • Methods:

    We sampled 17 flooded, kettle-hole wetlands in the Cape Cod National Seashore from 1996-2002. Sites were stratified by depth and vegetation and sampling locations were established randomly within each stratum. For each sample, we made a standard, 1 m x 33 cm sweep of water column, vegetation, and substrate with a D-frame aquatic net (Ward's Natural History Establishment, Rochester, NY). Net contents were decanted into a white pan filled with water and invertebrates were picked live in the field, preserved in 70 percent ethanol, and returned to the laboratory for identification. Water depth, substrate, and vegetation were recorded for each sample. Water samples were collected from all pools in spring, 1986 and 1998, by National Park Service staff. Chemical analysis was carried out by the Cape Cod National Seashore's North Atlantic Coastal Research Laboratory following standard methods for pH, alkalinity, color, dissolved oxygen, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, nitrate-N, ammonium-N, and phosphate-P (American Public Health Association et al. 1985; Clesceri et al. 1998). A posteriori analysis of habitat characteristics of wetlands with and without Phanocelia canadensis involved analysis of variance of surface area, depth, water chemistry, and dominant vegetation.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Colburn E, Garretson F. 2006. Ecology and Biogeography of a Northern Caddisfly in Cape Cod MA 1996-2002. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF093 (v.18). Environmental Data Initiative:

Detailed Metadata

hf093-01: caddisfly habitat data

  1. pool: vernal pool code
    • E: Eastham
    • T: Truro
    • W: Wellfleet
  2. shrubs: frequence of occurrence in sample quadrats (arcsine of % frequency). (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  3. sphagnum: frequence of occurrence in sample quadrats over study period 1996-2002 (arcsine of % frequency) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  4. color: water color measurement value, 2 April 1998 (transmittance at 440 nm) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  5. ph: water pH, 2 April 1998 (negative log of [H+]) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  6. alkalinity: alkalinity (Log [concentration in mg/L + 1] as CaCO3) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  7. sp.cond: specific conductance (uS/cm) (unit: microsiemensPerCentimeter / missing value: NA)
  8. nh4: ammonium concentration (Log [concentration in uMoles/l + 1]) (unit: micromolePerLiter / missing value: NA)
  9. po4: total phosphate concentration (Log [concentration in uMoles/l as CaCO3 + 1]) (unit: micromolePerLiter / missing value: NA)
  10. no3: nitrate concentration (Log [concentration in uMoles/L + 1]) (unit: micromolePerLiter / missing value: NA)
  11. area: surface area when pool is maximally flooded (unit: squareMeter / missing value: NA)