Epiphytic macroinvertebrate communities of four coastal wetlands of Green Bay, Lake Michigan were compared by taxonomic composition, feeding group composition, and environmental influences using Bray-Curtis ordination. Ordination scores from the most sheltered oligotrophic site, Portage Marsh, were distinct from the eutrophic, exposed sites located in middle and lower Green Bay—Seagull Bar, Little Tail Point, and Dead Horse Bay. Epiphyton chlorophyll a, phytoplankton chlorophyll a, and specific conductance strongly correlated to the ordination axes, indicating the trophic gradient within Green Bay was a primary environmental influence. The feeding group compositions at the sites were consistent with the type and abundance of food available. Portage Marsh is a scraper-shredder system, with macroinvertebrates feeding mainly on epiphyton and coarse particulate detritus. Dead Horse Bay and Little Tail Point are collector systems, sustained by phytoplankton and fine particulate organic matter. Seagull Bar is intermediate in trophic position along the ordination axes, but more closely resembles the latter two sites. The type and abundance of food resources available to these invertebrate communities are influenced by wave exposure, light attenuation, nutrient levels, and algae levels of the littoral and pelagial waters. Macroinvertebrate communities were sensitive to shifts in food resources, which generated shifts in trophic structure.
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