Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Number of Pages



The zooplankton community of Little Fish Lake exists in a seasonally and interannually variable physical environment. This shallow endorheic lake is particularly sensitive to climatic variability; depth and salinity fluctuate during periods of prolonged evaporation or precipitation. I examined zooplankton seasonal succession in Little Fish Lake during a period of relatively low salinity from March 1995 through March 1996. The community was more diverse during my study than it had been in periods of high salinity. While abiotic conditions probably affected the community structure, biotic interactions such as predation likely influenced succession as well. I observed interactions between the predaceous rotifer Asplanchna silvestrii and six potential prey species with which it co-occurs. Since A. silvestrii occurs in three morphologically and behaviorally distinct morphotypes, I assessed the vulnerability of prey with each predator morphotype. Predator morphotype and prey type both significantly affected the outcome of each predation event. These predator-prey interactions are particularly interesting because all the species commonly occur in alkaline, saline lakes where biotic interactions may be relatively simple due to the scarcity of organisms that can tolerate the unusual chemical conditions.


Asplanchna; Asplanchna Silvestrii; Endorheic; Fish; Interaction; Little Fish Lake; Nevada; Predator; Prey; Rotifer; Shallow; Silvestrii; Zooplankton; Rotifer

Controlled Subject

Ecology; Limnology

File Format


File Size

2181.12 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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