Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Chironomidae (Diptera) surface-floating pupal exuviae were collected monthly during the ice-free season in 2010-2011 from six lakes in the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research site in northern Wisconsin. The goal of this study was to determine whether chironomid community structure reflected differences in lake morphometry (i.e., depth, area, shoreline development, etc.), water chemistry, and/or landscape position (i.e., elevation). Forty-six genera were identified from four subfamilies: Chironominae (57%), Orthocladiinae (28%), Tanypodinae (11%), and Diamesinae (4%). Tanytarsus, Ablabesmyia, and Psectrocladius were found in all six study lakes; whereas certain genera, such as Omisus, Protanypus, and Epoicocladius were each observed in only one lake. An analysis of abiotic variables revealed that pH, total phosphorus, and Secchi depth were the most important factors structuring chironomid communities in the NTL-LTER site clearwater study lakes, but a more complete suite of habitat variables that includes biotic factors (i.e., algal growth and availability and macrophyte characteristics) should be sampled in future studies to determine the importance of these variables. Elucidating the factors that influence chironomid community structure can lead to an improved understanding of chironomid ecology and distribution patterns in north temperate lakes and will be a valuable asset in examining the interplay of landscape position and biological communities in lakes.

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Creative Commons License
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