Laura Grace

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M.Sc. Biology, UNB, Biology, CRI
BScH Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario


Supervisor: Dr. Joseph Culp

Thesis: The effects of agricultural practices on metabolic rates in stream environments.

Stream metabolism refers to the ratio of oxygen production (i.e. photosynthesis) to oxygen utilization (i.e. respiration) occurring within a river system and is essential for understanding the interactions and processes taking place in a stream environment.  Outside factors that can affect photosynthetic and respiration rates include the percentage of riparian cover as well as the quantity and quality of allochthonous inputs.  The latter factors may be controlled by agricultural practices which can often lead to clearing of the riparian cover and increasing allochthonous runoff rates into stream environments, thus altering metabolism characteristics.  The purpose of my study was three fold: 1. To compare different methods for measuring dissolved oxygen levels in streams 2. To determine how different levels of nearby agricultural practices affect metabolic rates in streams 3. To determine, through stable isotope analysis, food web interactions and their role in river metabolism.