A Comparative Analysis of Aquatic Species Populations in Varying Locations

Audrey Spalding, Ramsey Thornton, TJ Samluk, Eric Bates



We compared the cell species populations among two bodies of water and whether or not the pH levels, which were very similar, had any effect on this.  We hypothesized that the cell species populations, since the waters had very similar pH levels, would result in very similar species populations along with very similar cell diversity levels. By taking samples of both bodies of water, we observed small sub-samples of each under a microscope in order to identify the cells present in each sample. We found that even though both bodies of water presented very similar pH levels, the cells living in those samples differed greatly. We found that the Boomer lake sample contained Micrasterias and Closterium, along with much more, while the Dolese Outlet did not have either of these species; Dolese Outlet had both Staurastrum and Closterium while Boomer Lake did not.  We then waited two weeks and tested these two bodies of water again to compare the changes over the span of time.  Our hypothesis was therefore not completely supported.  Although both samples contained some of the same species, they also contained species that the other did not.  The cell density also varied greatly between these two samples while the cell diversity, which was calculated by using the Shannon index, were almost identical.  Overall, this comparative study will be beneficial when more in-depth studies are conducted over the relationship between pH levels and cell diversity.


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