Event Title

Assessing the Viability of an Isolated Aquatic Ecosystem via Offseason Sampling

Session Number

C16

Advisor(s)

Crystal Randall, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Location

A-113

Start Date

28-4-2016 1:10 PM

End Date

28-4-2016 1:35 PM

Disciplines

Biology

Abstract

Small freshwater ecosystems are highly sensitive to pollution and are dependent on reliable influxes of nutrients. Run off from surrounding roads and fields delivers chlorides, nitrates, and sulfates to these ecosystems, which particularly affect indigenous macroinvertebrates during development. We collected water samples to determine chloride, sulfate, and nitrate concentration, as well as conductivity and dissolved oxygen content to assess the overall health and long-term sustainability of No Pond, a small freshwater body on the Illinois Math and Science Academy campus. Here we report dissolved oxygen levels above 5.4 mg/L, the minimum for proper development of several keystone species recommended by the EPA, to a depth of 3 meters. The presence of pollution- and oxygen-sensitive macroinvertebrate species further suggests a healthy, strong environment going into and exiting the winter season. Our findings therefore suggest that No Pond can support life at many tropic levels and maintain a balanced and diverse ecosystem.


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Apr 28th, 1:10 PM Apr 28th, 1:35 PM

Assessing the Viability of an Isolated Aquatic Ecosystem via Offseason Sampling

A-113

Small freshwater ecosystems are highly sensitive to pollution and are dependent on reliable influxes of nutrients. Run off from surrounding roads and fields delivers chlorides, nitrates, and sulfates to these ecosystems, which particularly affect indigenous macroinvertebrates during development. We collected water samples to determine chloride, sulfate, and nitrate concentration, as well as conductivity and dissolved oxygen content to assess the overall health and long-term sustainability of No Pond, a small freshwater body on the Illinois Math and Science Academy campus. Here we report dissolved oxygen levels above 5.4 mg/L, the minimum for proper development of several keystone species recommended by the EPA, to a depth of 3 meters. The presence of pollution- and oxygen-sensitive macroinvertebrate species further suggests a healthy, strong environment going into and exiting the winter season. Our findings therefore suggest that No Pond can support life at many tropic levels and maintain a balanced and diverse ecosystem.