Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis


"Leaf litter is a major source of energy for streams in deciduous forests. Fungi play a critical role by converting the leaves into nutritional material for the rest of the food web. The breakdown of leaf litter and associated biota, including invertebrates and fungi, have been proposed as measures of stream health in systems affected by anthropogenic activity. Rates of leaf breakdown can be depressed in streams affected by acidity, metals, organic contaminants, and other stressors. Climate change may lead to alterations in stream hydrology such that streams experience more frequent floods as well as drying episodes. Fungal communities can be affected by the leaf litter they are growing on becoming emersed and re-immersed due to pulse-flow events. I examined the structure and function of fungal communities at several sites with varying emersion-immersion. I used DGGE in tandem with clone libraries to assess the community structure of fungi on leaves from the sites over a 15 week period. I also measured fungal biomass and microbial activity, which were closely related to each other throughout the sampling period. Sites that underwent an emersion-immersion cycle had lower activity than immersed sites initially, but sites had similar rates later after communities had become established. Overall, community composition and diversity varied among samples based on immersion, watershed, and time. Clone libraries revealed that the main taxa at my sites were not aquatic hyphomycetes, as most fungal studies have assumed, but terrestrial taxa"--Abstract, page iii.


Niyogi, Dev

Committee Member(s)

Mormile, Melanie R.
Oerther, Daniel B.


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

M.S. in Applied and Environmental Biology


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2013


ix, 63 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 69-71).

Geographic Coverage

Phelps County (Mo.)


© 2013 Kele Qwinn Thrailkill, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Riparian areas
Stream health
Stream ecology -- Missouri -- Phelps County

Thesis Number

T 10423

Electronic OCLC #