Publication Date

5-1-2003

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science

Abstract

Swamps are unique ecological communities that provide many valuable ecosystem services. In Kentucky, however, many swamps were altered by cypress removal and land development in their watersheds. Cypress Creek Swamp, which lies near Paducah in western Kentucky, is a good example of a swamp whose ecological integrity may be threatened by past and current nearby land use practices. This study was conducted to assess the water quality and macro- and microinvertebrate communities in the swamp. Three sites were monitored for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, specific conductivity, depth, phosphorus measured as orthophosphate, nitrite (NO2") and nitrate (NO3", NOx collectively), and ammonia nitrogen (NH3). The temperature, dissolved oxygen, NH3 and NOx concentrations changed with the growing season, but pH demonstrated little variability among the sites. The specific conductivity and phosphorus levels were highly variable. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated no significant difference in microinvertebrate taxa identified among locations or through time. A oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated no significant difference in macroinvertebrate population total densities between locations (P = 0.847), and a oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed no significant difference in microinvertebrate population total densities among locations (P = 0.153) or through time (P = 0.294). As development continues in the watershed, this work provides an important baseline for future water quality monitoring in the preserve.

Disciplines

Environmental Health and Protection | Medical Sciences