Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ciberowski, J. J. H.


Biology, Ecology.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The purpose of this thesis was to examine the utility of two chironomid biomarkers: deformities and fluctuating asymmetry. A meta-analysis of previously published results was undertaken to determine if the magnitude of chironomid deformities is a consistent, useful indicator of environmental degradation. Due to erroneous methodology, individually, most studies were found to not show significant differences between contaminated and reference sites. However, significant differences were observed between pooled contaminated and reference sites, indicating that deformities do show promise as a biomarker. The impact of habitat suitability on fluctuating asymmetry was examined in Procladius larvae. Habitat suitability was found to have no impact on asymmetry. A laboratory study was conducted to examine the impact of cadmium exposure and food limitation on deformities and fluctuating asymmetry in Chironomus riparius. No significant results were observed in either biomarker. Deformities show potential to be useful indicators of water quality. Fluctuating asymmetry, however, was not shown to respond to any stresses presented here. Fluctuating asymmetry therefore may not be a useful an indicator of stress in chironomids. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Biological Sciences. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .B87. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0441. Adviser: Jan Ciborowski. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.