Arthropods in Decomposing Wood of the Atchafalaya River Basin
Changes in arthropod populations (numbers of individuals identified to the family level in most cases) were studied during the decomposition of coarse woody debris (CWD) in the Atchafalaya River Basin of Louisiana. The arthropod study was linked with a CWD decomposition study installed after disturbance by Hurricane Andrew. Arthropod numbers were compared between two canopy disturbance classes and between two spatial orientations of CWD (i.e., suspended above- and in contact with the soil). Results during 30 months in the field suggested little influence of canopy disturbance or spatial orientation of CWD on arthropod numbers. Counts were most frequently dominated by Collembola and Acarina and peaked after 18-24 months within larger debris.