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Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)

Department

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Supervisor

Eduard G. Rienhardt

Co-Supervisor

Joe Boyce, Francine McCarthy

Language

English

Committee Member

Joe Boyce, Francine McCarthy

Abstract

High density sampling (n=50) was conducted in Cootes Paradise, a shallow wetland on the western shoreline of Lake Ontario near the city of Hamilton. Cootes Paradise is an urban wetland that has been affected by pollutants and nutrients and invasive carp. Thecamoebian analyses paired with site specific environmental measurements (depth, sp. conductivity, temperature, DO and pH) and substrate characteristics (textural and organic content -LOI) show relationships (R2 = 0.6) with depth (0-1m) and corresponding sp. conductivity (0.5 to 0.65 mS/cm) and temperature (26.5 to 30.5 °C). Q-mode cluster analysis recognized two biofacies. Biofacies 1 samples (n= 26) are found in the deeper areas (0.70 ± 0.27 m) and dominated by C. tricuspis 36 ± 8% (1 std), L. vas 18 ± 13% and D. protaeiformis “claviformis” 14 ± 6%. Mean water temperature is 28.0 ± 0.6 °C and conductivity at 0.56 ± 0.04 mS/cm. This assemblage has low species diversity (SDI=1.9 ± 0.3) which indicates a transitional environment. Biofacies 2 contains samples (n= 24) which are found in shallower areas (0.38 ± 0.15 m) and the assemblage is characterized by C. constricta “aerophila” 25 ± 8%, C. tricuspis 18 ± 5%, Cyclopyxis sp. 9 ± 6 % and L. vas 9 ± 4 %. The SDI for Biofacies 2 is 2.2 ± 0.2 and like Biofacies 1 shows a transitional environment. The average temperature is and 29.0 ± 1.0 °C with mean sp. conductivity also slightly higher than Biofacies 1 at 0.6 ± 0.04 mS/cm.

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