Date of Graduation

Summer 2018


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

La Toya Kissoon-Charles


wetland ecology, ecotoxicology, ponds, macrophytes, atrazine

Subject Categories

Biology | Other Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


Wetlands are often the ultimate destination of agrochemicals. The increased use of these pollutants has resulted in their increased transport, via runoff and spray drift, into wetlands. Atrazine, a commonly used herbicide, has been detected in surface water, groundwater, soil, and sediment, and has shown to have adverse impacts on aquatic biota, such as fish and amphibians. Few studies have reported on the relationships between atrazine and macrophytes. I measured atrazine concentrations in surface sediments in agricultural, conservation, and golf course ponds of southwest Missouri, and investigated how those concentrations might be related to macrophyte communities, and pond environmental characteristics. My study found that water pH, depth, open water area, and sediment organic matter content varied among ponds; while macrophyte cover, richness, water conductivity, atrazine concentrations, and sediment particle size were similar. Water pH and sediment organic matter content were found to be significant predictors of macrophyte composition and frequency, explaining approximately 27% of the variation. Water depth and open water area were found to be significant predictors of macrophyte presence-absence, explaining 25% of the variation. Lemna minor and Spirodela polyrhiza were found to be significant indicator species of conservation ponds; whereas Spirogyra spp. was a significant indicator species of golf course ponds.


© Christine Michelle Cornish

Open Access