This investigation was designed to investigate differences between Upper and Lower Lake Mary and to determine possible causes for those differences. Two sites were chosen on Upper Lake Mary (ULM) and two on Lower Lake Mary (LLM). A variety of tests including pH, temperature, carbon dioxide, dissolved oxygen and biotic sampling were completed at each of the sites. The lakes are similar in a number of ways including elevation, air temperatures, and location, as the two lakes are part of the same watershed basin. Differences noticed between ULM and LLM were water depth,turbidity, and overall size. Both sites on LLM were noted as being marshy areas with clear, shallow water and numerous plants. Site 4 on ULM was similar to the sites on LLM, however, Site 3 was quite different. Site 3 was noted as being deeper and more turbid than any of the other sites. The groups hypothesis was that conditions on the two lakes would be significantly different. Reasons cited for possible varying conditions between ULM and LLM include boat traffic, water clarity, depth and algal levels.

The results supported the hypothesis to a degree depending on which sites were being compared(refer to site map). Significant differences in lake conditions occurred between site 3 and sites 1,2, and 4 in pH, dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide levels,while temperatures at all four sites did not show a significant difference. Plant and animal species were similar at sites 1,2, and 4 with site 3 showing significantly less diversity (refer to life table). The remaining sites had a minimum of four plant species and 8 animal species with site 2 showing the most diversity. Dissolved oxygen levels indicating photosynthetic activity were present at high levels at sites 1, 2 and 4, while site 3 showed moderate readings(See DO graph). Only site 3 recorded a carbon dioxide reading indicating respiration with a reading of 3.0 ppm. Sites 2 and 4 were similar in pH and both were significantly different from site 1 (the most basic) and Site 3 (the most neutral).

These results primarily show a difference in lake conditions between site 3 and 4 on ULM and differences between site 3 ULM and sites 1 and 2 LLM, while sites 1,2 and 4 have similar results in the tests conducted. It is important to consider that sites 1, 2, and 4(see site map) are shallow, marshy areas and site 3 is deep with moderate boat traffic. Site differences account for some of the changing conditions between the respective sites, however, specific causes for the differing results were hard to determine and needs further investigation to isolate causal factors. The effect of boat traffic and oil products on the organisms on ULM needs to be investigated as a possible cause of low animal and plant diversity. Investigations of turbidity and the effect on plant and animal diversity is another possible cause for differences between sites. 

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