Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Biology (M.S.)

Degree Program


First Advisor

James McNair

Second Advisor

Bopaiah Biddanda

Third Advisor

Eric Snyder

Fourth Advisor

Alan Steinman

Academic Year



Stream ecosystem metabolism is commonly measured in stream ecology studies in order to understand the functioning of the stream ecosystem and as an indicator of stream health. One common method for gathering the time series data required to estimate stream metabolism is the free water dissolved oxygen method, which involves measuring dissolved oxygen in freely moving water. This is accomplished by taking measurements at a single location (one-station monitoring method) or at two locations (two-station monitoring method). In conjunction with these data, a process-based model of dissolved oxygen dynamics is used to estimate gross primary production, respiration, and net production. There are two commonly used estimation methods: accounting and prediction. With the accounting method, estimates are derived directly from the time-series data. With the prediction method, estimates are derived statistically by fitting predicted dissolved oxygen concentrations to measured concentrations. In this study, we compared combinations of the one-station and two-station monitoring methods and the accounting and prediction estimation methods using data from Little Black Creek in Muskegon, MI gathered over two days each in July and December, 2017 using four monitoring stations within an 800 m reach. The time-series data permitted comparison of metabolism estimates for four individual stations (one-station monitoring) and six sub-reaches (two-station monitoring). We found differences in metabolic estimates between seasons, methods, and sub-reaches. One of the more significant results was the effect of spatial heterogeneity in physical and biological properties of the stream on metabolic estimates. We found a similar range in metabolic estimates for different stations and sub-reaches within the 800 m study reach as was found in published estimates compiled from single reaches in many different streams in both temperate and tropical environments.

Included in

Biology Commons