Title page for ETD etd-11132007-155118

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Jeremiah, Nicholas G
Author's Email Address ngj04@vt.edu
URN etd-11132007-155118
Title Life History and Secondary Production of Goniobasis proxima (Prosobranchia: Pleuroceridae) from Four Appalachian Headwater Streams in Western North Carolina.
Degree Master of Science
Department Biology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Benfield, Ernest Fredrick Committee Chair
Valett, H. Maurice Committee Member
Voshell, J. Reese Jr. Committee Member
  • aquatic
  • grazing
  • population ecology
  • parasitism
  • substrate
Date of Defense 2007-10-17
Availability unrestricted
I investigated life history traits and secondary production of populations of Goniobasis proxima in four streams from July 2005 to June 2006. Measurements of canopy cover, conductivity, alkalinity, temperature, and nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), as well as snail size, density, and occupied substrate were taken monthly for each stream. Snail growth rates were determined in an aquarium for 10 size classes and secondary production was estimated as the summed product of size class growth rates and field biomass measurements. Size class production estimates tracked biomass with intermediate to larger sized snails dominating production, despite smaller snails growing faster. Production estimates across streams ranged from 1,400 mg m-2 yr-1 to 22,183 mg m-2 yr-1 with noticeable summer highs and winter lows. Annual turnover was slow (0.43-0.49) owing to slow growth and long development time. Snails preferred leaves/wood as a substrate to occupy over rock and sand and showed no appreciable grazing effect on the epilithon community.
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