Murray State University

Poster Title

Aquatic Ecology at Hancock Biological Station: Study 1: (Francisco) Comparing Two Zooplankton Sampling Methods in Long-term Community and Population Monitoring

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Zooplankton are a very important part of ecosystems and are the trophic link between primary producers and upper-level consumers in aquatic food webs. Because changes in zooplankton populations could have a negative impact on other organisms, long-term monitoring of zooplankton populations is important to understanding aquatic ecosystems. We used data from an on-going, long-term monitoring program on Kentucky Lake to compare two methods of monitoring zooplankton at two sites, a channel and an embayment site, throughout 2008. We compared Schindler traps that capture zooplankton in a 15-liter volume of water at a single point in the water column and vertical tows using Wisconsin nets that capture zooplankton throughout the water column from near the bottom to the surface. Thus far identifications and counts from 22 samples from each site have been completed. Preliminary results show that species richness is similar between the two collection methods but different between the two sites (p = 0.03), and the number zooplankton is higher in vertical tows (p < 0.001) but not between sites. This could indicate that there is a high enough abundance of most species to allow both methods to be an accurate measure of richness. Future work should include a comparison of taxa by abundance by date between the two methods to better understand their effectiveness on studies of seasonal and areal abundance.

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Aquatic Ecology at Hancock Biological Station: Study 1: (Francisco) Comparing Two Zooplankton Sampling Methods in Long-term Community and Population Monitoring

Zooplankton are a very important part of ecosystems and are the trophic link between primary producers and upper-level consumers in aquatic food webs. Because changes in zooplankton populations could have a negative impact on other organisms, long-term monitoring of zooplankton populations is important to understanding aquatic ecosystems. We used data from an on-going, long-term monitoring program on Kentucky Lake to compare two methods of monitoring zooplankton at two sites, a channel and an embayment site, throughout 2008. We compared Schindler traps that capture zooplankton in a 15-liter volume of water at a single point in the water column and vertical tows using Wisconsin nets that capture zooplankton throughout the water column from near the bottom to the surface. Thus far identifications and counts from 22 samples from each site have been completed. Preliminary results show that species richness is similar between the two collection methods but different between the two sites (p = 0.03), and the number zooplankton is higher in vertical tows (p < 0.001) but not between sites. This could indicate that there is a high enough abundance of most species to allow both methods to be an accurate measure of richness. Future work should include a comparison of taxa by abundance by date between the two methods to better understand their effectiveness on studies of seasonal and areal abundance.