Essay on The Ecology Of Two Orders Of Streams

1877 Words Dec 11th, 2016 8 Pages
The purpose of this study was to understand the lotic ecology of two orders of streams. These freshwater streams may only account for .008% of the total water on earth, but it is utilized in many ways essential for human survivability including food, energy, and transport. We measured the abiotic and biotic variables at both Steger Creek, a 2nd order stream, and the Rivanna River, a 5th order stream. These factors tell us which anthropogenic practices have had an effect of these waterways that are situated in the mountains of Charlottesville, Virginia. We hypothesized in accordance with the river continuum concept, that the higher the order of the stream, then the greater the basin geomorphology, greater the speed gradient, organic matter composition, and production. We tested the discharge rate, dissolved oxygen, Simpson’s diversity index for the macro-invertebrates only, and the temperature and compared the values between the two streams. We found that there was not a significant difference in the temperature and Simpson 's diversity index. The dissolved oxygen data was not statistically significant, however, the DO was higher at the Rivanna than the Steger. The discharge difference was significant meaning there was a significantly higher discharge at the Rivanna river than the Steger. Our data supports the idea that higher order streams have greater habitat heterogeneity and volume, therefore you would see more heterotrophic organisms with light and dissolved oxygen are…

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