Student Research Projects

Effects of Semisquatic Turtles on Macroinvertebrates and Phytoplankton

Student Shannon Cassatt
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Biology
Course BIO 489: Research in the Natural Sciences


During summer 2009, Katherine Burchett conducted a mesocosm experiment manipulating turtle density in 400 gallon pond tanks. This study completes this investigation, by examining densities and community composition of macroinvertebrates and phytoplankton sampledfrom the tanks at the conclusion of the experiment. Turtles may affect marcoinvertebrate density directly via predation or indirectly by impacting the density of floating plants and macrophytes. Turtles may impact phytoplankton via nutrient excretion or by reducing plant density in tanks.