Invertebrate assemblages were studied in eight monoculture wetland mesocosms constructed for wastewater treatment. Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen (D.O.) were measured in bulrush mesocosms while higher concentrations of D.O. were measured in open water mesocosms containing submerged pondweeds. Invertebrate taxa richness was positively related to D.O. concentrations that were, in turn, related to vegetation communities. Reference wetland sites contained a variety of plant species along with extensive open water areas. Invertebrate taxa richness was greater at reference sites than in any wastewater mesocosm. Invertebrate samples from the wastewater mesocosms and reference sites were analyzed for five trace elements. While the concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, mercury, and silver were below values harmful to wildlife, the concentrations of selenium reached levels of moderate concern on one occasion. Data from this study suggest that selenium bioaccumulation by invertebrates may be related to the type of vegetation community or detrital habitat type. Wetlands designed for invertebrate production for waterfowl should take into account the potential for low D.O. concentrations and trace element bioaccumulation associated with vegetation community types.
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Vol. 20 • No. 2