Document Type


Publication Date



Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


William Lamberts


Ice cover is a part of the yearly cycle in bodies of water that are exposed to temperatures below the freezing point. Though the body of water is completely covered, many communities under the ice are still present and active during this time. I hypothesized that as the area cleared of snow increased, the increased light availability under the ice will cause a decrease in zooplankton abundance, as they avoid light and increase the chlorophyll concentration. Three different light availabilities were imposed on the ice by clearing three different sized areas of snow on the ice (0m, 1m and 2m). A hole was drilled in the middle of each area, a light measurement and a water sample from each treatment were collected. Data analysis suggested that there was a higher zooplankton abundance present in decreased light availability and increased chlorophyll concentration in increased light availability. This research can help contribute to the knowledge base as both ice cover and snowfall have been affected by climate change, particularly causing longer periods between times of ice cover or early ice-out. By understanding how ice cover phenology affects the planktonic communities under the ice, the potential effects climate warming has on these communities could be understood.