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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 389:295-300 (2009)  -  DOI:

Characteristics of mangrove swamps managed for mosquito control in eastern Florida, USA: a re-examination

Jorge R. Rey1,*, Sheila M. O’Connell1, Douglas B. Carlson2, Ronald E. Brockmeyer Jr.3

1University of Florida, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, 200 9th Street SE, Vero Beach, Florida 32962, USA
2Indian River Mosquito Control District, 5655 41st Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32967, USA
3St. Johns River Water Management District, PO Box 1429, Palatka, Florida 32178, USA

ABSTRACT: A recent study by Middleton et al. (2008; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 371:117–129) characterizing mangrove swamps impounded for mosquito control in Florida has a number of problems that weaken some of the resulting conclusions. We examine some of these issues, which we divide into (1) errors of fact, (2) methodological problems, (3) unwarranted conclusions. Errors of fact include incorrect historical assertions, incorrect site descriptions, and inaccurate statements on the general effects of impoundments. Methodological problems include inadequate sampling for the stated purpose, in particular using results of one-time sampling of very small marsh areas to characterize entire marshes and groups of marshes; defining inadequate controls; use of heterogeneous experimental treatment groups, including highly atypical and unrepresentative sites within experimental treatments; selective sampling; and others. Unwarranted conclusions include the characterization and comparison of marshes and management strategies based upon unrepresentative sampling, and the attribution of differences in habitat function as a result of management strategy without any experimental evidence to suggest such an effect. We make suggestions for mitigating some of these issues.

KEY WORDS: Mangrove · Coastal wetland · Impoundment · Florida · Mosquito

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Cite this article as: Rey JR, O’Connell SM, Carlson DB, Brockmeyer RE Jr (2009) Characteristics of mangrove swamps managed for mosquito control in eastern Florida, USA: a re-examination. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 389:295-300.

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