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Reproductive Delay In The Female Cape Ground Squirrel (Xerus Inauris), Beth Pettitt Jan 2006

Reproductive Delay In The Female Cape Ground Squirrel (Xerus Inauris), Beth Pettitt

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The Cape ground squirrel, Xerus inauris, is a highly social cooperative breeder that forms groups containing multiple breeding females. While the distribution of reproduction among group members is fairly even (i.e. exhibits low reproductive skew), previous studies of Cape ground squirrels suggest the reproductive development of sub-adult females is inhibited by the presence of adult breeding female group mates. As reproductive delay is known to be influenced by a number of different parameters, my goal was to determine if other factors affected the timing of sexual maturity, and if so, which factors are the most influential. In this study ...


Is The Exotic Brazilian Pepper, Schinus Terebinthifolius, A Threat To Mangrove Ecosystems In Florida?, Melinda Donnelly Jan 2006

Is The Exotic Brazilian Pepper, Schinus Terebinthifolius, A Threat To Mangrove Ecosystems In Florida?, Melinda Donnelly

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Mangrove ecosystems are critical to Florida, providing economic resources to humans, and untold ecological resources to estuarine organisms. In Florida's estuaries, mangrove ecosystems have suffered significant losses due to natural and human disturbances; these disturbances potentially leave mangrove communities vulnerable to invasion by the opportunistic exotic, Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper). Prior experiments have suggested that Schinus terebinthifolius is unable to survive under marine conditions and poses no long term threat to mangrove systems. However, this contradicts field observations where Schinus terebinthifolius was found growing in the intertidal zone of Mosquito Lagoon alongside three native species of mangroves, Rhizophora mangle ...


Effects Of Patch Size And Matrix Type On Bird Assemblages Within Central Florida Cypress Domes, Julia Noran Jan 2006

Effects Of Patch Size And Matrix Type On Bird Assemblages Within Central Florida Cypress Domes, Julia Noran

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The numerous studies on the effects of patch size on bird assemblages have produced varied results. I studied the effects of patch size and surrounding matrix on bird assemblages within central Florida cypress domes. My null hypothesis was that bird assemblages within cypress domes are unaffected by dome size or development in the matrix around the dome. My alternative hypothesis was that differences in bird assemblages are correlated with size and the degree of development within the matrix. I classified a pool of over a thousand domes according to three size categories and four matrix types. Three representatives for each ...


Predicting Risks Of Invasion Of Caulerpa Species In Florida, Christian Glardon Jan 2006

Predicting Risks Of Invasion Of Caulerpa Species In Florida, Christian Glardon

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Invasions of exotic species are one of the primary causes of biodiversity loss on our planet (National Research Council 1995). In the marine environment, all habitat types including estuaries, coral reefs, mud flats, and rocky intertidal shorelines have been impacted (e.g. Bertness et al. 2001). Recently, the topic of invasive species has caught the public's attention. In particular, there is worldwide concern about the aquarium strain of the green alga Caulerpa taxifolia (Vahl) C. Agardh that was introduced to the Mediterranean Sea in 1984 from the Monaco Oceanographic Museum. Since that time, it has flourished in thousands of ...


Wikipdf - A Tool To Help Scientists Understand The Literature Of The Biological, Health, And Life Sciences, David Calloway Jan 2006

Wikipdf - A Tool To Help Scientists Understand The Literature Of The Biological, Health, And Life Sciences, David Calloway

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Biological sciences literature can be extraordinarily difficult to understand. Papers are commonly filled with terminology unique to a particular sub-discipline. Readers with expertise outside that sub-discipline often have difficulty understanding information the author is trying to convey. The WikiPDF project that is the subject of this thesis helps readers understand the biological sciences literature by automatically generating a customized glossary for each page of any technical paper available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) format. WikiPDF relies on the Wikipedia®, an on-line encyclopedia created and supported by a host of volunteers, as a source of definitions used in its glossaries ...


Monitoring A Potentially Stressful Situation In Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla) Through Analysis Of Behavior And Urinary Cortisol, Douglas Skurski Jan 2006

Monitoring A Potentially Stressful Situation In Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla) Through Analysis Of Behavior And Urinary Cortisol, Douglas Skurski

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The concept of quantifying animal welfare has received much discussion, in various industries such as agriculture, laboratory, and zoological facilities. Behavioral, physical, and physiological indicators of welfare have previously been used to assess animal welfare; each having advantages and disadvantages, ranging from the practicality of data collection, to the validity of the data and how it is interpreted. Concurrent assessment of multiple measures is a more robust way to examine animal welfare, which utilizes the advantages of each measure, and provides additional information on which to base conclusions and animal care management decisions. This study used measures of behavior and ...


Predation On The Eastern Oyster Crassostrea Virginica On Intertidal Reefs Affected By Recreational Boating, Jennifer Stiner Jan 2006

Predation On The Eastern Oyster Crassostrea Virginica On Intertidal Reefs Affected By Recreational Boating, Jennifer Stiner

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Widely regarded as a keystone species and ecosystem engineer, the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica plays a vital role in estuarine environments. Complex, three-dimensional oyster reefs act as havens for biodiversity and contribute to ecological processes. Recently, concern for this resource has arisen in Mosquito Lagoon, Florida, the southernmost limit along the Atlantic coast for undisturbed, intertidal reefs of C. virginica. Since the 1990s, intense recreational boating activity has caused atypical dead margins (mounds of disarticulated shells) to emerge on the seaward edges of oyster reefs located along major navigational channels. Once dead margins are formed, little is known about their ...


Limnological And Landscape Factors Affecting Use Of Manufactured Ponds By The Invasive Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus Septentrionalis), Terina Nusinov Jan 2006

Limnological And Landscape Factors Affecting Use Of Manufactured Ponds By The Invasive Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus Septentrionalis), Terina Nusinov

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Exotic amphibians are often detrimental to native biotas. In Florida, the exotic Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) eats native frogs and may outcompete them for resources. Cuban Treefrogs thrive in disturbed areas and around buildings, and often breed in manufactured wetlands such as retention ponds and borrow pits. This study identified limnological, landscape, and biotic characteristics that discouraged pond use by Cuban Treefrogs and promoted use by native amphibian species. I sampled natural and manufactured ponds in Orange County, Florida, for one year, using standard methods to estimate the species richness and relative abundance of amphibians and their potential fish and ...


Dispersal Behavior Of Mosquitofish (Gambusia Holbrooki), Shireen Alemadi Jan 2006

Dispersal Behavior Of Mosquitofish (Gambusia Holbrooki), Shireen Alemadi

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) are native to the southeastern United States but invasive elsewhere, and are dominant predators in many ecosystems that they inhabit. Information on dispersal behavior will help better understand and predict mosquitofish metapopulation dynamics and invasions. I experimentally tested dispersal behavior of individual mosquitofish under a range of laboratory conditions relevant to field situations. Preliminary experiments showed that gender, lighting conditions, hunger and acclimation time did not significantly affect net dispersal rate. Power analysis based on this preliminary experiment determined that 6 replicate fish were sufficient for each subsequent experiment; I used 24 fish, and each fish was ...


Notopleural Mutations Enhance Defects In Imaginal Disc Epithelial Morphogenesis And Macrochete Elongation Associated With Mutations In The Stubble-Stubbloid Locus, Robert Ruggiero Jan 2006

Notopleural Mutations Enhance Defects In Imaginal Disc Epithelial Morphogenesis And Macrochete Elongation Associated With Mutations In The Stubble-Stubbloid Locus, Robert Ruggiero

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The Stubble-stubbloid locus encodes a transmembrane serine protease (Stubble) necessary for the proper formation of sensory bristles, and the morphogenesis of leg and wing epithelia. Genetic and cell biological analysis indicate a role for Stubble in actin cytoskeletal dynamics and cell shape changes in developing epithelia and bristles. Previously reported genetic interactions between Stubble and the Rho1 signaling pathway suggest Stubble influences actin cytoskeleton dynamics in developing imaginal discs through interactions with the Rho1 pathway. This work will discuss a genetic screen conducted to further investigate the role of Stubble in bristle and imaginal disc morphogenesis. From 50,000 EMS-mutagenized ...


Mapping And Characterization Of 18-5 And 12-5, Genes Which Potentially Link The Rhoa Signaling Pathway To The Ecdysone Response, Samuel Fox Jan 2006

Mapping And Characterization Of 18-5 And 12-5, Genes Which Potentially Link The Rhoa Signaling Pathway To The Ecdysone Response, Samuel Fox

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Systemic steroid hormone and intracellular signaling pathways are known to act cooperatively during the development of vertebrate and invertebrate epithelia. However, the mechanism of this interaction is poorly understood. Morphogenesis of Drosophila leg imaginal disc epithelia is regulated both by the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (ecdysone) and the RhoA GTPase signaling pathway. Recent evidence suggests that these pathways act cooperatively to control imaginal disc morphogenesis. Thus, leg imaginal disc morphogenesis is an excellent system in which to study the interaction of steroid hormone and intracellular signaling pathways. We have identified mutations in three genes, 12-5, 18-5, and 31-6, with roles in ...


Testing The Peninsula Effect: Does It Affect Freshwater Crustaceans Inhabiting Ephemeral Wetlands On Florida's Ridges?, Debra Rinne Jan 2006

Testing The Peninsula Effect: Does It Affect Freshwater Crustaceans Inhabiting Ephemeral Wetlands On Florida's Ridges?, Debra Rinne

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The peninsula effect is a pattern of diversity wherein species richness decreases along a peninsula from base to tip and is attributed to three mechanisms: historical processes, habitat gradients, and immigration-extinction equilibrium. Numerous studies have reported conflicting results involving the existence, cause, and validity of the peninsula effect in part because they did not account for effects of history or habitat on species richness patterns and because most previous research focused on organisms that actively disperse, which could confound results with behavioral habitat selection. Florida poses an excellent opportunity to study the peninsula effect because of its geological history and ...