Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor

Evans-White, Michelle

Reader

Scott, Thad

Second Reader

Smith, Kimberly

Third Reader

Irish, Shawn

Abstract

We collected samples from seven Arkansas streams during the months of August 2014 and February 2015 with the objective of determining possible relationships between nutrients, periphyton abundance and benthic macroinvertebrates. We hypothesized that periphyton would be positively associated with nutrients, and that increases in periphyton biomass would increase the abundance and diversity of benthic scraper families. Samples were collected from three transects at each site. The periphyton was analyzed for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and ash free dry mass and Chl-a content. Macroinvertebrates families belonging to the feeding group of grazers/scrapers were compared with water column and periphyton nutrient concentrations, as well as Chl-a and ash free dry mass of periphyton from each site using correlation techniques. Negative linear correlations were observed between particulate phosphorus within the periphyton and Simpson (1-D) diversity (r=-0.87; ps=0.92; p