Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


John L. Dupuy

Committee Member

John L. Wood

Committee Member

George Grant

Committee Member

William G. MacIntyre


A quantitative comparison of the phytoplankton in the surface microlayer of an estuary and that a depth of one meter was made using a Garrett-type screen and a Frautschy bottle for sample collection. Results showed that the surface microlayer contained a significantly greater number of phytoplankton cells than the water at one meter. Species diversity at the surface tended to be somewhat lower than one meter, due to a greater number of individuals of the dominant species. Investigation revealed that the presence of a monomolecular film of slick material absorbed onto the water surface resulted in a decrease in the number of phytoplankton cells in the surface microlayer. Species succession and seasonal abundance were also examined. This dissertation is from the Joint Program Degree from the College of William & Mary and University of Virginia and awarded by the University of Virginia.



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