Publication Date

Fall 2010

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Environmental Biology

First Advisor

Xiaoyong Chen, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Phyllis Klingensmith, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Mary E. Carrington, Ph.D.


The transformation of landscapes from rural to urban land use impacts affected ecosystems. Replacing natural vegetation with impervious surfaces and introducing environmental stressors through increased human activity can significantly alter aquatic ecosystems. This study examined the effects that urbanization had on salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, and pH of aquatic systems along an urban-rural gradient in Illinois, Chicago land area- Little Calumet River, Thorn Creek, and Kankakee River. The first objective of this project was to examine whether there were changes or fluctuations among various environmental parameters that may be due to heavily populated residential areas when compared to a preserve. The second objective compared the responses of the environmental parameters against the urban- rural gradient. The study was conducted from February to August 2010. Data collection was from March to May 2010. There was a significant difference in all variables along the urban-rural gradient based on location (p