The use of macroinvertebrates in the assessment of wetland ecosystem integrity is an increasingly common tool used for management and conservation. The sensitivity of macroinvertebrates to ecological fluctuation makes them reliable and appealing indicators of ecosystem integrity. However, there is little or no published data available for assessment of wetland ecosystem integrity on the basis of macroinvertebrate species diversity in constructed wetlands of metropolitan Melbourne. The aim of the following study was to assess significant differences in macroinvertebrate diversity in three constructed wetlands in South East metropolitan Melbourne and consequently, suitability as a universal measure of wetland ecosystem integrity.

Three wetlands were chosen randomly, with the requirement that they were entirely man-made, from a list of constructed wetlands in South East metropolitan Melbourne. Between 481 and 629 organisms were found in each wetland comprising 16 different taxa. The one-way ANOVA for species richness (P > 0.05, F = 0.19) and Shannon-Weiner diversity index (P > 0.05, F = 2.54) indicate no significant differences between the wetlands in both of these measures. The data collected in the present study compared with published species richness and Shannon-Weiner diversity index data suggests macroinvertebrate species diversity can be used as a universal measure of wetland ecosystem integrity in constructed wetlands in South East metropolitan Melbourne. This is important where there is need for a rapid and streamlined tool for assessment of ecosystem integrity and consequently, the management and conservation of constructed wetlands.

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