Date of Award


Document Type



Environmental and Forest Biology

Thesis Advisor

John M. Farrell


Zooplankton play an integral role in the function of aquatic food webs and may serve as indicators of productivity, biodiversity and ecosystem health. The objective of this study was to determine if zooplankton quality (based on total lipid content) and community structure are associated with physical and chemical variables that can be used as indicators of environmental quality among small lakes in eastern New York State. A diversity of small lakes in eastern New York State (n=25) were sampled for zooplankton with vertical tows (153um mesh nylon) and 50 individuals were identified, enumerated and total lipid was determined for each lake. Lake physical variables were also collected including: dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, shoreline development, secchi depth, nutrients (i.e. total dissolved phosphorous, silica), residential density, and percent forest cover. Highly correlated environmental variables were identified using a Pearson correlation matrix. Significant correlations (p