Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


he loss of vernal pool habitats has become an increasing concern due to their highly endemic and diverse species assemblages. A previous study found that crustacean diversity was higher in large vernal pools than typically found in permanent ponds (King et al., 1996). The objectives of this study were to compare the diversity of crustaceans in two vernal pools and two permanent ponds, and to better understand which species of crustaceans were associated with each habitat type on Fort Ord, CA. This paper attempts to answer these questions using the Simpson's index of diversity and calculations of richness, evenness, and Morisita's index of community similarity for each site. The vernal pools and permanent ponds in Fort Ord varied in diversity. Vernal pool diversity ranged from Ds = 0.76 and Ds = 0.10, and permanent pond diversity ranged from Ds = 0.18 and Ds = 0.07. The pools and ponds were all found to be significantly different in diversity. Taxa richness was highest in a vernal pool, Ostracode Pool, and lowest in a permanent pond, Fish Pond. Morisita's index of community similarity suggested that the permanent pond communities were most similar, the vernal pools were relatively similar, and the comparisons of community taxa between the ponds and pools had no similarity. Predation, competition, and other ecological factors, as well as physical and chemical parameters, were discussed to determine why some pools are more diverse than others and why permanent ponds and vernal pools may differ in diversity.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute

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