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SPATIAL HABITAT PARAMETERS AND EFFECTS OF HABITAT FRAGMENTATION ON HYPOTELMINORHEIC FAUNA IN SEEPAGE SPRINGS IN SOUTHEAST WASHINGTON, DC
The hypotelminorheic is a shallow subterranean habitat that is groundwater fed and home to aquatic, troglomorphic animals which have a limited range and low occupancy at each site. This study explored the spatial parameters of the seep habitat and nearby fragmentation, at two spatial scales, with the goal of defining what makes the habitat suitable, especially for isopods and amphipods. Using ArcMap, spatial, surface, and fragmentation variables were calculated and added at each georeferenced point where sampling occurred in the small parklands of southeast Washington, DC. At the land patch scale, only forest cover and the number of seeps on an uninterrupted land patch could predict patch occupancy. At the seeps scale, the animals were not very edge avoidant, but geologic and surface features predicted seep occupancy. Removing forest cover is a threat to the habitat, and larger protected parklands would allow for more seeps on each patch of land.