Abstract Title

Microscopic Wonders: The Correlation Between Zooplankton and Phytoplankton

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to identify several abiotic and biotic factors that correlate with the most robust zooplankton populations in several northeastern Ohio reservoirs. Characterized as vital members of marine and aquatic ecosystems and forming the base of many marine and aquatic food webs in conjunction with phytoplankton, zooplankton require competent levels of phytoplankton in their community to flourish. Phytoplankton, being buoyant microorganisms containing chlorophyll, in turn depend upon abundant levels of sunlight and inorganic nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, to sustain their populations in aquatic environments. Water samples were taken from Lake Rockwell, Walbourne Reservoir, and Deercreek Reservoir in 2016 and 2017. Through the use of ion chromatography, lachat, and flourometer analyzing techniques, levels of soluble reactive phosphorous, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium were obtained for these Akron and Alliance reservoirs. These abiotic factors were then compared to amounts of phytoplankton and zooplankton within both areas, gathered via microscopy. Preliminary data suggests that higher levels of nitrogen and phosphorous correlate with higher levels of phytoplankton, which consecutively correspond to higher levels of zooplankton in our study reservoirs; however, further data analysis is to be completed.

Modified Abstract

The purpose of this research is to identify several abiotic and biotic factors that correlate with the most robust zooplankton populations in several northeastern Ohio reservoirs. Zooplankton require competent levels of phytoplankton in their community to flourish, and phytoplankton in turn require abundant levels of sunlight and inorganic nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, to sustain their populations in aquatic environments. Water samples were taken from several Akron and Alliance drinking water reservoirs and their levels of soluble reactive phosphorous, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium were obtained through the use of ion chromatography, lachat, and flourometer analyzing techniques. These abiotic factors were then compared to amounts of phytoplankton and zooplankton within both areas, gathered via microscopy. Preliminary data suggests that higher levels of nitrogen and phosphorous correlate with higher levels of phytoplankton, and correspond to higher levels of zooplankton in our study reservoirs; however, further data analysis is to be completed.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Primary Author's Major

Zoology

Mentor #1 Information

Meaghan Baladan

Mentor #2 Information

Dr. Xiaozhen Mou

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Biodiversity | Marine Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Zoology

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

Microscopic Wonders: The Correlation Between Zooplankton and Phytoplankton

The purpose of this research is to identify several abiotic and biotic factors that correlate with the most robust zooplankton populations in several northeastern Ohio reservoirs. Characterized as vital members of marine and aquatic ecosystems and forming the base of many marine and aquatic food webs in conjunction with phytoplankton, zooplankton require competent levels of phytoplankton in their community to flourish. Phytoplankton, being buoyant microorganisms containing chlorophyll, in turn depend upon abundant levels of sunlight and inorganic nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, to sustain their populations in aquatic environments. Water samples were taken from Lake Rockwell, Walbourne Reservoir, and Deercreek Reservoir in 2016 and 2017. Through the use of ion chromatography, lachat, and flourometer analyzing techniques, levels of soluble reactive phosphorous, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium were obtained for these Akron and Alliance reservoirs. These abiotic factors were then compared to amounts of phytoplankton and zooplankton within both areas, gathered via microscopy. Preliminary data suggests that higher levels of nitrogen and phosphorous correlate with higher levels of phytoplankton, which consecutively correspond to higher levels of zooplankton in our study reservoirs; however, further data analysis is to be completed.