, 575:117 | Cite as

On the influence of substrate morphology and surface area on phytofauna

  • Salvador Becerra-Muñoz
  • Harold L. SchrammJr.
Primary Research Paper


The independent effects and interactions between substrate morphology and substrate surface area on invertebrate density or biomass colonizing artificial plant beds were assessed in a clear-water and a turbid playa lake in Castro County, Texas, USA. Total invertebrate density and biomass were consistently greater on filiform substrates than on laminar substrates with equivalent substrate surface areas. The relationship among treatments (substrates with different morphologies and surface areas) and response (invertebrate density or biomass) was assessed with equally spaced surface areas. Few statistically significant interactions between substrate morphology and surface area were detected, indicating that these factors were mostly independent from each other in their effect on colonizing invertebrates. Although infrequently, when substrate morphology and surface area were not independent, the effects of equally spaced changes in substrate surface area on the rate of change of phytofauna density or biomass per unit of substrate surface area were dependent upon substrate morphology. The absence of three-way interactions indicated that effects of substrate morphology and substrate area on phytofauna density or biomass were independent of environmental conditions outside and inside exclosures.


Artificial substrates Epiphytic invertebrates Phytofauna Playa lakes 



We thank Martha Bautista-Rodríguez for building artificial substrates, and Greg A. Conley, John A. Dennis, Andrew A. Radomsky, Patrick A. Chubb, Thomas L. Freeman, Tamrah L. Craft and Menzdehng Wen for assistance with fieldwork. Certainly our appreciation goes to Mr. Kent Irons and Mr. Butch Merritt for allowing us to conduct this experiment in their playa lakes. David B. Wester provided statistical guidance. Funding for this study was provided by Texas Tech University and the Mexican National Polytechnic Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvador Becerra-Muñoz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Harold L. SchrammJr.
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Range, Fisheries and Wildlife ManagementTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.PG&E, Environmental ServicesSan RamonUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Geological SurveyMississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research UnitMississippi StateUSA

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