Date Thesis Awarded

5-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Drew LaMar

Committee Member

Jonathan Allen

Committee Member

Harmony Dalgleish

Committee Member

Sarah Day

Abstract

Understanding the population dynamics of zooplankton is important to understanding the dynamics of the Chesapeake Bay, as zooplankton are at the interface of primary producers and higher trophic levels. Cannibalism is a potentially importance source of mortality for the copepod, Acartia tonsa, which is seasonally dominant in the Chesapeake Bay. In order to quantify cannibalistic behavior to improve terms and parameters in current zooplankton population models, I designed and conducted a two part experiment to measure cannibalism rates of A. tonsa. The experiments measured ingestion rates of phytoplankton, eggs and nauplii under varying starting concentrations of prey. Results were analyzed with 2-and 3-way ANOVAs and ingestion rates were fit with nonlinear Holling Type III models. This study adds to the current understanding of cannibalism in A. tonsa and highlights the need for further data collection.

Share

COinS