Science Paper

A. Biodiversity shows how healthy the ecosystem is. Both in the Vail and Webster Ponds, damsel nymphs were present in substantial amounts. Damsel nymphs are dependent on dissolved oxygen, thus indicate the quality of water. The lower the oxygen content, the higher amounts of oxygen are wasted to oxidize organic remnants, the lower water purity, followed by water boatman as for the Vail and Webster ponds. However, other species in these ponds correspond to water quality less satisfactory. Water Boatman are not essential quality markers, but may indicate poor water quality, because the adult insects do not depend on oxygen and live on the water surface. The Webster Pond follows in its absolute number of species, and the water flea is presented in small amounts here. It must be mentioned that water fleas have short lifetime and, due to their reproduction pattern, they serve as an indicator of water toxins. In this study, I have found water fleas only in the Webster Pond water. Backswimmers in the Vail Pond may indicate poor oxygen conditions, because they are air breathing and do not depend on its water content.

The Little Pond carried a diversity of species, although in minor amounts each. Among them, the nematodes must be mentioned, as they adapt easily to most ecosystems.  On the other hand, they are predators very often and, thus, can be assessed as pest water control indicator. The Rotifers decompose organic matter and usually indicate fresh water. It should be noted that water flea is also present in the Little Pond water. The dragon fly is a predator that occurred only here. Water boatman indicates fresh water to a certain extent. The midge that was detected in this water is also an indicator of good quality of water.

In the Willow Pond water sample, there were the riffle beetle indicating the water quality. These cannot live in the environment of thick layer of inorganic sediment or low oxygen suggesting in this lake the water is fast moving. In the Willow Pond, the damsel nymphs were present too, however, in smaller quantities than observed in the Vail and Webster ponds. The scuds that were present here indicate nutrient-rich water free from pollutants.

In conclusion, the cleaner the water sample, the more oxygen content is expected, the more oxygen-dependent species are found, riffle beetle. Others do not depend on oxygen at all, backswimmers. Some are moderately tolerant to water pollution, midge. Some species depend on nutrients, scuds. Worms (nematodas) indicate poor quality and some give no important information regarding water quality. water boatman.

B. Water Boatmen attach their eggs to aquatic vegetation as they are laid. To overcome oxygen lack, they breathe air on the water surface. After that, they carry bubbles of air in their surface or under the wings and extract oxygen when they are under the water.

Nematodas can live both in fresh water, marine, and terrestrial environments. A thick protective cuticle covers their epidermis. Waste excretion is not associated with any special organs. Their reproductive patterns are numerous depending on concrete environmental challenges and may include hermaphroditic, facultative sexuality, or parthenogenesis.  

C. Water detritus (including bacteria and protists) from the column as well as bottom of lakes, organic matter of the water – water flea and the rotifers – dragon fly - green frog (this can also eat water flea) - heron – white-tailed kite.

E. I was surprised to learn that not the absolute number of species determines water quality, but their diversity indicates how clean the water is. A great number of certain insects may inhabit the lake, but it may be actually of poor quality, and all those species have already adapted to aggressive environmental options. At the same time, when the water of the lake is clean and rich in oxygen and other compounds, different species grow easily indicating various aspects of water ecology. This is amazing how diverse the nature is. The Little Pond with better ecology feeds the Vail Pond suggesting the trouble is dependent on the latter. In contrast, feeding of the Willow Pond looks adequate. The Webster and the Vail Pond require special attention regarding water ecology.

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