Pilot Limnological Studies on Church Farm Pond, a Small Man-Made Pond in Ashford, CT

Monika Kalinowska

Abstract


Limnological studies can give insight into the physical, chemical and ecological conditions in a body of water. The study of lakes is interesting to biologists, but also important to the general public as it helps to ensure safe and pleasant recreational use. Church Farm Pond is a 1.2 hectare, man-made pond located in Ashford, CT. Despite being formed in 1906 and acquired by the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation in 2009, little remains known about it. The purpose of this study was to acquire baseline information on its chemistry, physical properties, and zooplankton community over a series of several months. Cladocerans and cyclopoid copepods were the most common zooplankton groups found, with cladocerans predominating regardless of date.  Low visibility depth suggests a hyper-eutrophic pond, while chlorophyll analysis suggests a eutrophic pond. However, this was determined to be due to high levels of decaying plant matter suspended in the pond. Consistently undetectable levels of soluble nitrates and phosphates, paired with minimal phytoplankton sightings point towards an oligotrophic body. The pond’s water likely does not come from a groundwater source, indicated by low conductivity, hardness, and alkalinity levels when compared to property well water. Future studies are suggested to focus on year-round data collections, zooplankton quantification and identification, and total phosphate and nitrate levels.


Keywords


Limnology; Zooplankton; Plankton; Phytoplankton; Aquatic Biology; Physical Chemistry; Pollution; Pilot Study; Pond

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