Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology


One hundred and forty algal samples were collected from 52 wetlands in eastern South Dakota to address the following objectives: 1) to inventory the algae occurring in eastern South Dakota wetlands. 2) to classify algal samples into wetland habitat types according to the wetland classification system of Cowardin et al. (1979). 3) to statistically determine if the composition of algal populations differed significantly among different habitat types. 4) to statistically determine if the taxa of algae obtained within the same habitat type differed according to differences in pH, conductivity, alkalinity and sampling method. 5) to determine the percent frequency of occurrence of algae in palustrine, lacustrine, and riverine habitats, and in all locations combined. Four hundred and twenty-six taxa of algae were identified in this study. Two hundred (46.9%) of the total were not previously reported from this region. Algae of the phyla Chlorophyta, Chrysophyta and Cyanophyta were most abundant. Algae are listed according to habitat type, location, water chemistry ranges, and sampling methods to aid wetland biologists. Each algal sample was classified into one of the 21 different wetland habitat' types as defined by Cowardin et al. (1979). Seven of the 21 habitat types could be compared statistically. All but one of the habitat type comparisons were significantly different from each other in terms of the algae present. This suggests that the wetland classification system by Cowardin et al. (1979) has implications for algal populations. Selected water chemistry ranges and sampling methods were compared statistically within three habitat types to determine if the taxa of algae sampled within the same habitat type differed according to different water chemistry ranges and sampling methods. The taxa of algae were significantly different from each other in terms of conductivity and pH ranges, but not alkalinity ranges. Different sampling methods compared within a specific habitat type also resulted in significantly different algae collected. The most common taxa as identified by percent frequency of occurrence, were not restricted to either lacustrine, palustrine, or riverine systems, but were found in all three. All taxa restricted to a given system had low percent frequency, even within the habitat type to which they were restricted.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wetlands -- South Dakota
Algae -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State