Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

J. Michael McCormick

Committee Member

Paul X. Bologna

Committee Member

Reginald Halaby

Committee Member

Dirk Vanderklein


The diversity of planktonic organisms was studied for seven months in Lake Wapalanne and Lake Ocquittunk (Stokes State Forest), Sussex County, New Jersey. Relative abundance and species diversity were studied as well as water quality including parameters: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and depth of lakes. The data of seasonal changes in abundance of organisms and water quality was compared between both lakes.

Three stations were set up along the straight line on Lake Wapalanne, buoyed by diatometers, which were used for diatom collection. There were also three stations located along the sides of Lake Ocquittunk arbitrary picked. Plankton samples from both lakes were collected using eighty micron plankton net which was dragged behind a row boat from one station to the next on Lake Wapalanne and collected from the sides of Lake Ocquittunk. Furthermore, water quality data were collected at each station of both lakes.

The results of my study support previous findings where species composition varied throughout the seasons specially, the abundance of cladocerans, dinoflagelates and volvocines occurred during the first period of the study (June), and copepods increased in relative abundance later in the year (August and September). Representatives of Monera, Protista, Rotifera, Cladocera, Copepoda, Ostracoda, Amphipoda, Decopoda and Insecta were found in both lakes, however their species evenness and diversity varies interchangeably throughout. When taking into consideration higher taxon data, I demonstrate that the similarities of organisms in both lakes are very high; around seventy five percent with the 0.18 stress level suggesting that both sites are similar. Comparing water quality data, they are very alike in both sites.

File Format


Included in

Biology Commons