Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Robert R. Costa


This study examines the effect of ecological factors within a small limestone quarry pond environment on the relevant biota. The author collected plankton samples over a period of six months in order to track the vertical distribution patterns within various species of zooplankton, while gathering quantitative data on seasonal physical/chemical changes of the pond. Specimens were collected using a net towed for a distance of 18-27m at depths of 0m, 0.5m, and 1.5 m. On completion, the net was removed from the water and organisms were concentrated into a 30ml vial. The sample was then poured into a different bottle and combined with 20ml of filtered pond water. Samples were transported immediately to the laboratory where all rotifers were live-counted using an A O Spencer binocular microscope. After completing the live count, the researcher preserved the sample and performed a second count using Congo Red stain at a later date. Crustaceans were immediately preserved and counted at a later date. The researcher observed a positive relationship between water temperature and the abundance of zooplankton, and a negative relationship between dissolved oxygen concentrations and planktonic organisms. Crustaceans did not seem to be affected by low concentrations of dissolved O2. The researcher observed that pond depth affected the composition of the zooplankton populations. The researcher concludes that a combination of abiotic and biotic factors appear to play an important role in influencing and regulating zooplankton populations, lessening competition in the relatively shallow quarry pond.


Repository staff provided abstract to aid in discovery.