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A Comparison of Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Communities on Small Caribbean Islands

This peer-reviewed article from BioScience is about freshwater macroinvetebrate communities. An ongoing survey of macroinvertebrates inhabiting the relatively unstudied freshwater habitats on 14 small Caribbean islands was initiated in 1991. These collections have yielded almost 200 species; when these species are combined with collections previously made by other researchers, a total of at least 328 freshwater macroinvertebrates are now known from these islands. The dominant taxa on the islands include several species of snails, shrimps, mayflies, dragonflies, damselflies, beetles, and other insects. Many of these species have fairly widespread distributions across the islands. Most stream species are associated with leaf packs, and most pond species are associated with aquatic macrophytes. As is typical of tropical island systems, the macroinvertebrate faunas of these islands are sparse, most likely because of their oceanic origin, their small size, and the frequent disturbances to their freshwater environments.

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