Date of Award

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Chet Rakocinski, Ph.D.

Abstract

The egestion rate of the subsurface deposit feeding polychaet,e Capitella telata, was studied using a modification of a method from a previous benthic study conducted on the surface feeding polychaete, Nereis succinea. Day-Glo powder was mixed with sediment in various concentrations to identify an ideal composition within which the luminescent portion of the sediment would be visible in fecal pellets within the worm’s gut when viewed microscopically with ultraviolet light. Next, in a series of trials, worms were allowed to digest the final mixture over progressively decreasing periods of time to determine how long it took for tracer-laced sediment to travel through the worm’s gut. It was found that although the Day-Glo powder could be successfully used as a fecal pellet tracer for the capitellids, it’s use negatively affected the sizes of pellets produced by the worms.

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