Tag Archive | Arthropods

Human Impact on the Invertebrate Diversity in the Grasslands of the Morgan Arboretum

Invertebrates and Human Impact What would happen if invertebrates disappeared? It is a question one might have never pondered, for invertebrates by their small size and unpopular status, are often ignored. In short, it would be catastrophic. Invertebrates provide many essential ecosystem services and impact us in many ways. Ecosystem services are defined as the […]

Invertebrate Abundance and Diversity in Ponds

Invertebrate Abundance and Diversity in Ponds

Invertebrates are a diverse group of cold-blooded organisms that do not have or develop a backbone at any stage of their lives (Buchsbaum, Milne, 1960). They are so diverse in their structure, physiology, habitat, and behavior that they constitute approximately 95% of the total identified animal species on earth. With over 30 phyla, they are […]

Leaf Litter Invertebrates of the Morgan Arboretum

Leaf Litter Invertebrates of the Morgan Arboretum

Invertebrates, while small, play an integral role in our ecosystem in the St. Lawrence Lowlands. In leaf litter, they aid greatly in the decomposition of organic matter, as cited by Vasconcelos and Laurance in their article on soil fauna (2005). Invertebrates are animals that lack a backbone, but this is where most of the obvious […]

Spider Diversity at the Morgan Arboretum

Spider Diversity at the Morgan Arboretum

Follow us on Twitter: @SpidersMcgill Natural History of Spiders Arachnida is an extensive class of arthropods recognized mainly by their eight legs, lack of antennae and carnivorous lifestyle, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (2015). This class encompasses scorpions, mites, daddy long legs and spiders. Spiders belong to the orderĀ Araneae, which includes over 114 families […]

Bark Bugs:  Saproxylic Invertebrates in the Morgan Arboretum

Bark Bugs: Saproxylic Invertebrates in the Morgan Arboretum

Invertebrates are a broad category of animals characterized by the lack of a backbone. Surprisingly and most often unknown is the fact that invertebrates amount to a staggering 95%-99% of all animal species (Encyclopedia of Science, 2002). This assorted group includes insects, spiders, crustaceans, and mollusks, all of which are also ectothermic (cold-blooded). Such a […]

Critters in the Litter

Critters in the Litter

Arthropods are a successful group of invertebrate animals; they are members of the phylum Arthropoda, which is known to be the largest phylum in the animal kingdom. The distinguishing feature of Arthropods is the presence of a jointed external skeleton composed of chitin, a nitrogen-containing sugar (Barnes,2014). Furthermore their body is divided into distinct parts, […]

Studying the diversity and ecological importance of aquatic macroinvertebrates

Studying the diversity and ecological importance of aquatic macroinvertebrates

When one looks out on the St. Lawrence waterway, they normally see large container ships passing by. However, the traffic below the surface is far greater, as it is teeming with life. Although they constitute a large part of this underwater community, aquatic macroinvertebrates are often overlooked. Despite this, they represent a key link between […]