Honors Projects


Marine primary inputs, such as sea wrack and algae, offer a great niche for insects and other animals to exploit. The existence of a similar niche on the coast of lakes has received less attention. To complicate matters, many freshwater systems are seeing increases in proliferation of toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria blooms. This study examined patterns in lake shore terrestrial arthropod abundance, diversity, and community composition across gradients of beached algae, with varying toxicity. We detected water microcystin effects on arthropod richness in survey three, beached material effects on Shannon’s Diversity in survey two, and water microcystin effects on the community structure on survey three. Our results suggest the beached aquatic inputs have diversifying effect and microcystin has a positive indirect relationship with certain orders of arthropods such as flies and spiders. We recommend further study into the mechanisms surrounding shore arthropod resource utilization and predator release from toxic blooms.


Biological Sciences



First Advisor

Kevin McCluney

First Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

W. Robert Midden

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 5-2-2016