Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Vegetational composition and the origin of surface water were studied during 2007 and 2008 at two small (< 3 ha) wetlands in Ellis County in west central Kansas. Methods used to analyze plant community composition included line transects, point intercepts, and frequency quadrats. Data were recorded at standard locations along four transects that transverse each wetland; sampling occurred at four times during the 2007 growing season. Water origins were identified by using deuterium isotope compositions from water samples collected in 2007 and 2008 at six locations from each wetland. Eighty-one plant species were observed at wetland study site 1, which had a floristic quality index of 28, and sixty-four species were observed at wetland study site 2, which had a floristic quality index of 20. The floristic quality index indicated that study site 1 was of a higher quality than study site 2 and is best explained by the larger area and the presence of a fen at study site 1. Both study sites were similar in species composition and forb frequency during the first two sample periods (May and June) and during the last two sample periods (July and August), reflecting an overall change in the flora from cool season to warm season plants. At study site 1, water ´2H became higher as it flowed downstream during the 2007 season with ´2H values that ranged from -19.8 to -48.2%. Groundwater contributed 50 to 100% of the water at study site 1. Water ´2H at study site 2 during 2007 and 2008 was not enriched or depleted as it moved downstream with ´2H values that ranged from -19.8 to -29.8%.


Joseph Thomasson

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2009 Patrick Allen Casey


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