Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


his project attempts to determine if differences between marine ecosystems can be gleaned from the study of native protozoa, and if so, if those differences could serve as evidence that toxicity of marine environments can be determined and then controlled by examining and comparing the condition of the protozoa within each environment. By using a relatively new polyurethane foam method at Elkhorn Slough in central California, protozoa were collect over a period of five days and then classified to order. ANOVA was used to determine if protozoan could be used to notice difference between sites. Quantity and diversity of protozoa were both compared between sites. The null hypothesis for the ANOVA was Ho: u₁=u₂=u₃ with the alternative being Ha: at least one population is different. ANOVA found our null hypothesis to be true (58704.546, 11, .087). The critical value for F was 4.07, which is greater than the calculated 3.137. As for site diversity, ANOVA also found the null hypothesis to be true (2.917, 11, .363). Again the critical value is 4.07, which is greater than the calculated 1.222. A Spearman's Coefficient was used to detect correlation between water quality parameters obtained from Elkhorn Slough (1992-1997) and the quantity of protozoa at each site. The data shows no correlation for any parameter. It was determined from this study that protozoa cannot be used to notice differences between sites and no strong correlation exists between water quality parameters and number of protozoa.


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

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